From the Bengal tiger to the Siberian tiger, the tiger species are fierce and beautiful members of the big cat family.
Like all big cats, they are carnivores by their very nature, so they eat a LOT of meat.
But do tigers eat humans? Are tigers dangerous?
In this article, we’ll be talking about just that!
Never Cross A Mother And Her Cubs
Though it is not a common occurrence, certain circumstances mean that a tiger will get aggressive towards a human.
In these circumstances, tigers will attack humans and in some cases, kill them and in others, they may eat them.
The main reason a tiger may attack a human is that they are protecting their cubs. The tigress is a fierce protector, just like a human mother.
When she is nursing her cubs or spending time playing with them, she is on high alert and very active in the environment around her.
So if you stumble across a tigress with her young, your best bet is to retreat as quickly as you can, because they will be on the offensive from the get-go.
If she sees you and feels threatened (which is most likely what she’ll feel) then she is going to attack.
Nature Plays Tricks
Although you may not think it, sometimes tigers can mistake humans for other animals. There are lots of animals tigers consider to be prey such as wild pigs and deer.
So if they see a human and that human is bent or crouched down in the grass, the tiger might mistake them for something they would usually prey on and this can result in human death, and in some cases, the human can be eaten by the tiger.
Are There Recorded Cases Of Tigers Eating Humans?
Though humans may be easy to prey on, tigers don’t really show a preference for human meat because they largely don’t find it appetizing.
However, there is one rather famous case in which a tiger preyed on over 400 humans in its lifetime.
The Champawat Tigress was a female tiger that attacked a huge number of humans, which started in Rupal village in Nepal.
Wildlife officers in the area took immediate action though, but after trying to trap her and retaliate against her, she kept escaping.
The wildlife officers decided the best thing they could do was to move her across the border of India, through the Sarda River.
But this move across the border only made things worse for the humans in the proximity of The Champawat Tigress.
She went on to kill even more people in the Kumaon district, racking her total up to past 400 deaths, and that was just during the daytime.
As it got more and more out of control, Jim Corbett, a British hunter finally took The Champawat Tigress down with the help of 300 Indians.
After she was killed, she was examined and her postpartum report revealed why she attacked so many humans.
The Champawat Tigress had damage to both her upper and lower canines; they were all broken.
This meant she couldn’t prey on her usual food source and she was attacking humans in order to survive.
So in the right conditions and circumstances, a tiger will eat humans, but it is never their first choice. The story of The Champawat Tigress proves that much.
Are Tigers Dangerous?
Just the story of The Champawat Tigress is enough proof that tigers are indeed dangerous.
With both sets of canines broken, she still managed to kill over 400 human beings… imagine if her teeth had remained intact?
Tigers’ first instincts aren’t to go out and hunt humans, and they generally leave us alone, but it is highly recommended that you keep your distance from them.
The most dangerous of the tiger species is the Royal Bengal Tigers. The Champawat Tigress was also a Royal Bengal.
Tigers are a lot bigger than lions, which may surprise you. The Bengal Tiger in particular is regarded as the best swimmer of the big cat families.
This makes them even more dangerous because they can adapt and survive in a multitude of climates and terrains.
Are Tigers Scared Of Anything?
Tigers are apex predators, so they don’t really fear any other animal. But, like all animals, there are things they do fear.
They don’t like fires or unfamiliar noises and in general, they don’t like large groups of humans.
If you ever find yourself surrounded by tigers (let’s hope you don’t!) your best chance of survival is to get a fire going.
You’d then proceed to make as many loud noises as you can. More often than not, this will draw the tigers away as they don’t like to be around these things.
Although The Champawat Tigress had no fear of humans, most tigers generally do fear us.
Tigers are an endangered animal and it is widely believed they have adapted a fear and wariness to us because we have spent a lot of time poaching them.
So for the most part, they will avoid us.
Just because they will avoid us the majority of the time though, doesn’t mean we should go out looking for them.
Just be wary if you find yourself near a wild tiger, because if they decide they are threatened by you, it won’t be good for you.
So if you’re wondering if tigers eat humans and if they are dangerous, the simple answer is yes to both. Tigers are smart animals, fiercely strong, and extremely adaptable.
They are widely considered the most dangerous of all the big cats, even more, dangerous than lions.
As long as you don’t do anything that triggers their desire to hunt and you stay away from their cubs and territories, you should be safe though.
And the only way a tiger will eat you is if they cannot hunt their usual prey.
Remember to keep your wits about you, play it safe and remember that their territory is their territory… not yours!