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The Tiger

The majestic tiger was once found in large numbers all over the subcontinent. It was feared, misunderstood, admired, and even worshiped as the vehicle of goddess Durga. In our own times, when man has all but wiped out this wonderful animal, few of us know what a tiger is like up close…
At a time when tigers were hunted in the name of sport, the Maharaja of Dholpur ordered a beat. Some two hundred men formed a wide semicircle, beating drums and canisters in order to flush out the tiger hiding in the undergrowth and drive him towards the hunters waiting in a vehicle at the opposite end. But the tiger in question had other ideas. Instead of running towards the vehicle, he whipped around and tore through the line of beaters.
In doing so, its right fore paw landed on the head of one of the beaters. There was a sickening sound of bones being crushed and the luckless man’s head and neck simply disappeared within the thoracic cavity.
The tiger has phenomenal strength but doesn’t use strength alone to knock down its prey. Essentially a loner, he believes in stealth and ambush. Thus he approaches his prey up-wind, so his smell won’t give him away. And he patiently stalks his prey, advancing very, very slowly, ears laid back, legs drawn under him, belly to the ground, waiting and watching for the right moment. In the process the tiger takes advantage of every scrap of cover that the surrounding bushes and creepers can afford. Finally, rising to a crouching position, muscles superbly coordinated and taut with a purpose, he makes a lightning charge. A tiger most often attacks its prey from behind. Laying his chest against the back of the animal, the tiger grabs the neck with his canines. As a rule, the sheer weight of the tiger is enough to snap the backbone of the victim. But should follow-up action be necessary, it includes driving the claws into the trachea and hanging on till the animal is choked to death. The tiger makes good us…

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