To some, tigers are seen as aloof, distancing themselves from all other citizens of the jungle. Then again, perhaps due to his very nature, nothing is more correct than the opposite. After all, when one goes to meet another, even if the other is acknowledged as a king, one really do not wish to be served as the main course, do one? I mean, not everyone wants to be like the male specie of a black widow spider - the moment after she's sexually satisfied, the male is then served as the meal. Not quite like breakfast-in-bed, I think. But then...
Anyway, tigers normally live up to 26years in captivity and about half of that in the wild. Born with claws that at a later stage could rip through the tough hide of a wild buffalo or hog, they are basically nothing but real adorable while still suckling milk from their mother. After about 2 to two and a half years of in-house training, each grown cubs would need to search a turf or territory of their own. That, is where the real trouble begins.
In the wild, a male tiger would have a larger territory that would include several female turfs. But as mentioned, that's in the wild; a life some consider barbaric and...well, wild. These wild tigers now number less than 5,000 worldwide and are coming close to extinction due their shrinking habitat caused by human encroachment. Worse still, they are being hunted by some solely for the belief that their body parts contain aphrodisiac for humans. Hmm...not much different than the life of the black widow's male, is it? But that's in the wild. Now, more and more are being kept in a...shall we say, civilised manner? I mean, though the space may be limited, being fed daily like a royalty is not bad.
However, do not ever mistaken a captive tiger for a tame one. Never! For coarsing in their veins, are the blood of a ferocious animal that should never be taken for granted. Like the guy below.
Oops! My apologies. That picture above is of a kitten taken from Alin's blog. Somehow, when you need a real good picture to show your true self, you just can't find it! Sigh...
Anyway, in searching for his own turf, many a tiger travel far and wide, some even to distant lands. Still, there are those lucky individuals who just sit around and bide his time, quite like the very nature of a tiger in stalking a prey. Just as in hunting where a predator average out something like a measly one meal out of 8 or 9 attempts, likewise it is with the tiger who bides his time; many of them meet their maker first, leaving the territory open to others. Poor guys. One particular tiger however, is still holding on as best he can.
Still wild at heart, this tiger has been knocking on fate's door many times before only to be told he's on hold, while the queue keeps getting longer and longer and more younger and physically fitter males keep on pawing at his heels. And keeping all those beasts at bay, is no easy job for a tiger that may have passed his prime. For tonight, at the stroke of midnight, this tiger officially turn 46. And still, that spot of sunlight, that place in the sun, that moment would lead him to greater heights, eludes him.
ROAR! Said the tiger!
Photo credit: fotograf.turkcebilgi.com