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Fooling Tigers With Masks

Discussion in 'Wildlife and National Parks' started by Travguy, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Travguy

    Travguy Member

    I read an interesting story about the Sunderbans in Eastern India. People wear scary black masks behind their heads so that they can scare tigers. But is it for real, I wonder?

  2. Salman

    Salman New Member

    Yes, it is indeed true and the people who wear it are workers who go into the forest to fetch honey which can be found in bee hives. It is a very good way to scare off tigers - you can try it if you want!

  3. Arianne

    Arianne Member

    How does this work? Why would a tiger be afraid of a mask on the back of a worker's head? Maybe the tigers are just too lazy and full to bother with the workers and the masks have nothing to do with it.
  4. Igor

    Igor New Member

    I would never want to go in front of a tiger in the first place. But good to know that tigers get scared too - and that too with black masks! I was of the opinion that tigers never get scared. I think I am wrong...lol.
  5. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

    It seems that many people have been able to escape with their lives because of using the black masks. There are tigers in other parts of the world too and this information can be sent out to people who live in those areas and want to save themselves form tigers.
  6. Voyager

    Voyager New Member

    I wonder what the tiger perceives the mask to be because a human being cannot hide his figure that has 2 legs. From what I know, tigers are usually not afraid of living beings with 2 legs including human beings.
  7. Vinaya

    Vinaya Member

    I had never heard about scaring tiger with mask. I don't think tigers can be scared with this kind of silly trick. I believe this trick is just to satisfy the mind of the people who are doing this. I think as long as you don't provoke animals, you will always be safe.
  8. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I hadn't heard of this -- but I don't know that I would be too convinced to try it! Maybe I'm just overly scared, but I don't think I would go into an area that I knew had a bunch of tigers and just expect that a mask would keep them away!

    For anyone that does it, you must be a much braver person than I am!
  9. Andy_Lothbrok

    Andy_Lothbrok New Member

    I think @Vinaya is right, its a myth and if anything, helps the minds of people that use it. Perhaps don't try it just in case... or do try it and let us know! If we don't hear from you we can assume tigers are not scared of masks...
  10. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Haha! I literally just laughed out loud at the last part of your post...yes...if someone is game enough to try it and then we just get silence back I think we can safely say that it didn't work out too well for them!
  11. Sharath S

    Sharath S Member

    Tigers are scared as they are being hunted by the very same people. They not only wear a mask but also go running in groups with weapons shouting and screaming to confuse the tiger. The only way the tiger can escape is to run and that is exactly what they do. Tigers are not scared of people who wear masks. Wearing masks is to hide their identity from the Government officials and run.
  12. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Travguy!

    Sunderbans is a cluster of islands in West Bengal. About 500 tigers reside in the islands, along with humans. Although these tigers are smaller than the Royal Bengal Tigers in other regions, they are quite strong and ferocious. Every year, many humans become victims of these tigers. Maybe it's the combination of erosion, climate change and geographical changes that lead to the change in behaviour of the tigers. About 50 to 60 humans die each year in this region because of tiger attacks.

    For a while, the residents came up with a solution. And yes, that was wearing a mask backwards. The reason for this? Since cats like to sneak up on people, maybe if they have the mask backwards, the tigers won't attack them. And it worked, at least for some time. There were many times that humans were saved because of these masks. There were even instances that tigers were about to attack from behind but backed out because they thought the human was facing them. It was supposed to fool the tigers.

    However, the tigers were quite smart and caught up with the trickery. Plus, even just removing the masks for a few seconds can lead to an attack. For instance, one man was eating lunch and removed his mask for a while. Then, he was attacked by the tiger after doing so. It's still a good precaution to wear these masks nowadays but it's not a sure way to escape the attacks of the tigers.

    Fishermen and honey-gatherers are at higher risk since they venture deep into the waters and forest. Tigers in the Sunderbans can swim and can even attack fishermen in boats. In the forests, while the men are busy working, a tiger can creep up to them without them noticing it. It's not unusual to find widows in the village, as their husbands were killed by the tiger attacks.

    The reasons for the attacks are unknown though. In other regions in India, like Bandhavgarh, reserves encircle villages too but it's rare for tigers to attack humans. Freshwater lakes have been made so the tigers can have fresh water, but it still didn't work. Some believe that the tigers here have become acquired to human flesh.

    Residents don't take it easy though. They have put flags signifying that the place was attacked or a killing was done there by a tiger. Nets are put around villages to stop the tigers from entering it. The government does help by giving out masks and employing village protectors.

    So yes, even though these masks worked for some time, the tiger problem of the Sunderbans is still rampant.