Monday, 20 January 2014

I can think of one possible answer to that..

The BBC asks: Why are India's tigers killing humans?

There are about 1,700 tigers left in the wild in India. In the past five weeks, 17 people in four states have been killed by tigers. Jay Mazoomdaar investigates the reasons behind the current spate of killings…

One possible answer, which the article doesn't mention, is that thanks to do-gooding Westerners, with their fund raising and preservation nonsense, have ensured that there are more tigers (fewer being shot etc).

It makes you ashamed to be a Westerner, it really does. If there were still wild boars and bears on the loose in the British Isles, killing our livestock and dozens of people each year, would we thank the Indians if they put in an all out effort to stop us wiping them out?

Methinks not.

11 comments:

The Stigler said...

I pointed this out to my kids when they said how terrible it was for people to poach tigers.

I'm not going to defend poaching endangered animals, but if I lived near tigers I might turn more of a blind eye.

Bayard said...

"would we thank the Indians if they put in an all out effort to stop us wiping them out"

We don't have the population problems that India has. If we had boars and bears they would be in reserves, like the tigers are supposed to be in India, but due to their expanding population, the Indians constantly nibble away at the jungle. This brings the tigers into closer contact with humans and hence more humans get eaten.

Lola said...

Wild boar stew - yum yum.
Wild tiger stew? - eating pussy? (No. Really. Stop thinking that.)

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, I'd reasonably expect the Indians to turn a blind eye, but it's more difficult turning a missing limb or a dead family member.

B, India does not have a population problem, it has a tiger problem.

L, rubbish stew but excellent rugs.

Graeme said...

Don't you need some some perspective? As the artivcle says:

"A tiger usually makes one large kill every week. For India's 1,700-odd tigers, that adds up to more than 85,000 kills in a year.

If humans were part of a tiger's natural diet, and since there are people everywhere in India, a good number of these 85,000 kills would be humans.

The truth is, less than 85 people are killed or injured - accidentally or otherwise - in a year by tigers here. Many times more die of snakebites or rabies."


And how many die in traffic accidents?

Mark Wadsworth said...

G, try and imagine the UK without cars, buses and lorries. Life would come to an end.

So yes, people die and it is very sad, but clearly as a society, we accept that this is a price worth paying.

Now try and imagine India without tigers..?

And I don't see TV adverts telling us to sponsor endangered snakes or rabid animals in India either.

Physiocrat said...

Hot smoked wild boar - mmm. And so haram as well.

Graeme said...

tigers are a tourist industry for India...or could be. It is not as people in India are unaware of tigers. so are the people who encroach on the increasingly restricted tiger habitats just living out a faux-bucolic rural idyll?
Anyway, I thought that India was a large country with losts of space and very few tigers, with a nuclear industry and growing middle-class. Is it a coincidence that people want to live where the very few tigers are? Could they not move elsewhere? Could they no put up fences?

And if you get rid of tigers, beware of the law of unintended consequences. The easy prediction is that the antelopes, cows, sheep, buffaloes and other ruminants ...and pigs, destroy all the jungle - result no more animals and therefore no more people.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Phys, that's wacist.

G, whatever. I live in a country where we get all upset when an urban fox savages a little baby, why should the Indians be any different? It's their country and their babies, end of.

And by and large, we Brits live in areas that were once dense forest full of boars, bears, big cats, wolves etc. I can't say I miss 'em.

L fairfax said...



@"And by and large, we Brits live in areas that were once dense forest full of boars, bears, big cats, wolves etc. I can't say I miss 'em."
Big cats? I don't think so Lynx are not big cats.

Everything in life has risks, how many people are killed per year in India compared to people killed by cars speeding? Would you want the Indian police to come down hard on speeding?

@"And I don't see TV adverts telling us to sponsor endangered snakes or rabid animals in India either."
Are there any endangered snakes in India? BTW if there were any, preserving habitat for Tigers would probably save them as well.

@"And if you get rid of tigers, beware of the law of unintended consequences. The easy prediction is that the antelopes, cows, sheep, buffaloes and other ruminants ...and pigs, destroy all the jungle - result no more animals and therefore no more people."
Very true - look at the passenger pigeon in the US

Mark Wadsworth said...

LF, "big cat" includes all cats larger than domestic cats AFAIAA.

"Would you want the Indian police to come down hard on speeding?"

If they ask me, I would warmly recommend that they do this, but it's up to them what they do in their own country - that's the bit you don't seem to grasp. It's none of our business what they do with their tigers.

And if the jungle is then threatened by other animals (there is no basis to assume this, but I will go along with it) and if the jungle is more important to them that antelopes etc, great, they can start hunting antelopes etc (but not cows, obviously).