Kanha is renowned as home to one of the largest population of tigers in the wild. Yet, when it made news this week, it wasn’t for its tiger density but a cannibalistic act by a tiger.
So, how probable is the official narrative? Not so much, according to an analysis by Jay Mazoomdaar of the Indian Express newspaper.
Tigers dont really kill and eat one of their own kind, especially a male of the species eliminating a tigress, he writes.
His reasons: The deceased Kanha tigress was unlikely to have been the victim of a tiger. A male tiger has no reason to eliminate a mating option, unless she was defending her cubs.
Also, he wrote: `the dismembered remains of the tigress Kanha showed that even the innards and almost the entire skin were missing.
“Tigers may not be picky, but they do not eat dirt. Barely anything was left of the rotting carcass; Even the large bones were picked clean. That would entail a range of scavengers to take turns, but the freshness of the skull did not allow for so much time. The skeleton appeared a baffling mystery, but it did not justify a cannibal tale. Because cannibalism is rare occurs, when it does occur, it happens under unusual circumstances.”
Read more of that article here.
Here’s a more closer look into what causes aggression among wild cats.
There is a clear relationship between a male’s aggressiveness and his circulating levels of androgens such as testosterone, a hormone produced in the testes.
From fish to mammals, aggression levels rise and fall with natural fluctuations in testosterone levels. Castration has been found to reduce aggression dramatically, while experimental reinstatement of testosterone—for instance, through injection into the blood—restores aggression.
Circulating testosterone can even influence the structures and signals used during fights.
The close link between aggression and testosterone is not surprising, given that males of many species fight over access to fertile females, but the connection is complex.
For instance, the more elaborate the social structure of a species, the less drastic are the effects of castration on aggression. In addition, testosterone of nongonadal origin (i.e., produced by the adrenal gland) may be important in aggression outside the breeding season, as in the case of birds such as the song sparrow that maintain nonbreeding territories in the winter.
Such multiple and multidirectional links between brain biochemistry, circulating hormone levels, and aggression are a key part of the mechanisms whereby behavior in conflict situations is adapted to both past experience and current circumstances.