Real man-eating tigers, specialized in hunting humans, are rare. Indeed, tigers don’t really appreciate hunting people, or cattle. When they have a choice, they much prefer feeding on wild pigs and deer.
However, the felines sometimes attack domestic animals and humans. Reduction of their habitat, human pressure on natural resources (deforestation, intensive hunting), and a lack of prey notably encourage tigers to come near villages looking for food, and to return if they find it easy to kill a cow in an enclosed area or a child on a forest road.
Tigers whose weak physical condition (due to illness, parasites, injury, old age…) prevents them from killing wild prey, can also suffer stress and anxiety, which worsen the situation further. Tigers evolve in a tough environment, which forces the felines to change their natural behaviour. This is why protecting their habitat is essential to preserving the species.
Near the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Nepal, we have been running a tiger conservation programme based within local communities since 2009. In this area, villagers sometimes have no other solution than to use natural resources to live, to the detriment of the Bengal tiger. Therefore, we propose them alternatives that limit their impact on the forest (workshops, sustainable micro-projects (eg. sewing), biogas installations…) and we educate them about the species and the importance of preserving its habitat.