Tigers' Hunting Habits
Tigers hunt for prey, which even include fearsome predators such as crocodiles, leopards and pythons. When fighting a crocodile, they go for the eyes using their paws. This occurrence is not even rare. Eighteenth century doctor Oliver Goldsmith has talked about how tigers and crocodiles sometimes fight. This scenario is made possible when thirsty tigers go for a drink by the rivers, where mugger crocodiles live. Usually, the crocodile ends up being disabled while the tiger is able to escape. There are cases, however, where mugger crocodiles end up killing the tigers.
In the case of leopards, they try to hunt at different times from tigers to avoid competition. Usually though, leopards and tigers are able to co-exist in peace when there is enough prey to go around. Again, exemptions to the rule exist.
Tigers even go against wolf populations in places where the two species somehow co-exist. It is all about showing who's boss. Packs of wolves do not just go without a fight. They do attack and even kill tigers when the two species clash because of food. This fight, however, finds both sides suffering a lot of losses.
Meanwhile, solitary creatures manage to co-exist with tigers. A golden jackal without a pack, for example, will trail a tiger for food. There is even a case of a jackal finding itself among three tigers for the sake of following their trail of food.
As for competition between species, Siberian tigers and brown bears can clash because of food. Usually though, both sides would try to avoid a confrontation. Still, there are cases of tigers killing bear cubs, as well as adult bears. A tiger living in the Russian Far East actually includes Asiatic black bears as well as brown bears into 5 to 8 percent of its diet.
Brown bears have also been recorded to have killed tigers when defending themselves or avenging or disputing over kills. There have been bears that have left their hibernation to attempt to steal away the tigers' kills. Of course, the tigers will also defend their prey.
Sloth bears, meanwhile, are aggressive and are fierce enough to shoo away young tigers from their kills. However, adult Bengal tigers usually hunt for sloth bears.
As we have read, tigers hunt and are also being hunted by other predators. What we know well is that tigers, whatever the subspecies may be, are all endangered. Predators killing off tigers is not even the main cause. Habitat destruction and poaching for tiger fur are the main causes of the decrease of wild tiger populations.
In the beginning of the 20th century, there were more than 100,000 tigers all over the world. There is also the fact that traditional Chinese medicine makes use of tiger parts. Alarmingly, the population has rapidly decreased to somewhere between 3,500 and 1,500 wild tigers.
There are some estimates that say that there are fewer than 2,500 adult breeding tigers in the wild. There are no sub-populations that compose of more than 250. These statistics show just how desperate the tigers' situation has become.