Tigers are in grave danger of going extinct in the wild. It’s difficult to comprehend how deadly these big cats once were.
One credible estimate is that from 1800 to 2009, some 373,000 humans were killed by tigers, mostly in South and Southeast Asia. Push that back to the year 1600 through 2000 and the number may be a million people killed and eaten by tigers.
Tigers still stalk, kill and sometimes eat people, although it has become uncommon. The area where the most people are still killed by tigers is the Sundarbans area on the Indian Ocean, in India and Bangladesh.
Tigers are big and they are formidable predators, weighing up to 600 pounds. They are superb stalkers and powerful swimmers. The famous orange and black stripes are excellent camouflage. Humans are not the preferred tiger prey; usually a man-eating tiger has experienced injury that prevents the animal from killing its preferred prey and it turns to killing people because it is so easy for them.
The deadliest known man-eating tiger was the Champawat tiger, which Jim Corbett, the famous hunter, shot in 1911. This tiger is known to have killed 436 people in Nepal and India. In the 21st century, tigers remain highly dangerous in the wild.
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