Sundarban is the perfect example of a habitat in the world where tigers have adapted the surroundings to the maximum level; to the extent where it seems nothing less than a miracle. Their eating habits, their way to living and even their behavior is largely affected by the surroundings here. It is the largest mangrove forest in the world. It is geographically spread in two countries; India and Bangladesh. Sundarban tigers are a little smaller and slimmer than that found elsewhere in India; but remain extremely powerful. No one knows why tigers of Sundarbans are man eaters, aggressive towards humans; but scientists, biologists, and others have speculated a number of reasons of why these tigers are man-eaters.
1. Water Salinity: Sundarbans is located in a coastal area and the water is very salty here. In all other habitats, tigers drink fresh water. It is said that saltiness of water in this area has put tigers in discomfort, and they become aggressive. Freshwater lakes have been artificially made but they are not interested in them.
2. High Tide: High tides destroy the tiger’s urine which serves as territorial markers. So the only way for tigers to defend its territory is to physically dominate everything that enters their area.Tigers living in Sundarbans have to live their lives according to the tide.
3. Unnatural Disturbance: May is the time when collectors travel through the forest in search of honeycomb. They spend most of their time looking up into trees for signs of bees. In the dense bush they can almost step on top of a tiger. The rush of collectors disturbs the entire forest area .Any tigress that feels her cubs are threatened will defend them and can kill and eat the collectors.
4. Learnt Behavior: The mother is a man-eater and she will feed hercubs on human flesh too. The cubs develop liking for this food and may become human-hunters. Like these this tendency has passed onto the young also. This is one of major reason why Sundarbans tigers are man-eaters.
5. Developed a taste of human flesh: These tigers have grown used to human flesh due to the weather. Cyclones in this part kill thousands of people almost every year, and their bodies drift out in to the swampy waters, where tigers scavenge them and develop taste of human flesh.
6. Lack of Prey: Sundarban tigers have very little choice of their natural prey like chital deer and boar. Bad storms reduce the amount of prey and tigers turn to feeding on fish. They raid nets and may kill any fisherman who approaches while they are feeding.
7. Weather Conditions: The tigers find hunting animals difficult due to the continuous high and low tides making the area marsh-like and slippery. Humans travel through Sundarbans on boats gathering honey and fishing.When a person stops to work, the tiger mistakes them as a prey animal, and acquired a taste for the human flesh.
8. Cyclone Sidr: A large number of tigers and crocodiles have entered into India’s side of Sundarbans after being flushed out by Cyclonic Sidr that happened in Bangladesh. These tigers are not familiar with the human habitation and are attacking people very frequentlyCyclone Sidr in the Bay of Bengal left behind a trail of devastation of many people.
9. Tiger’s Incapacity: Majority of man-eaters tigers was not fit to hunt their regular prey.Mosttigers attack humans only when they are physically unfit to catch their normal prey. Thus, most man-eaters are infirm, old, injured or have missing teeth.
10. Encounter: The tiger kills any human in defensive reaction and feeds his body. This lead him target people as easy prey.
The tigers are very aggressive and the government should help the local people to find employment outside the forest. Most of the problems occur within the forest. This problem will be solved when their will be no need of men going to forest and collecting honey, fish in a way to make a living.