In India, tiger hunting is associated with bravery and courage. Tiger hunting in India can be traced back to the 16th century when the Mughals first introduced the sport. Tiger hunting became popular to the extent that cross-country competitions were held to declare the winner. Maharajas and kings from other countries visited India from all over the globe to hunt tigers. The carcass of the tiger was brought back home with great pride. This trend continued for so long until the tiger species faced endangerment. Hunting in India is also called shikar.
The Scenario after Independence
After the Britishers took over India, tiger hunting became more famous. The sport was a recreation activity for most of the Jawans and Maharajas in India. Before the Maharajas set out for shooting, their servants drugged the Tigers making it easier and less risky for the Maharajas to kill the prey. Tiger hunting was regarded as the highest form of bravery. The person capturing the most top kill would be highly appreciated. It is heard that King George set out hunting in Nepal and caught over 39 tigers each day. Colonel Nightingale captured more than 300 tigers in India. In India, many rules thought shooting down tigers was a good omen. At least one tiger would be killed each time a princess was born indicating auspiciousness. In 1915, it is heard that the king of Surguja slaughtered more than 1190 tigers. The same practice kept continuing till Indira Gandhi took over India. In the wake of the 17th century, it was declared that tiger population would be extinct by the end of the decade. Indira Gandhi not only out outlaw tiger hunting but also banned the export of tiger pelts to other Countries.
Founded in 1973, project tiger founded by Indira Gandhi is an initiative to conserve tiger species. Conserving Bengal tigers, in particular, was the goal. A large number of tiger reserves were identified and conserved. Human activities were strictly banned in this region. Poaching of tigers was banned entirely. In 2006 camera security was made strict to stop any poaching practice. By 2007, the tiger census increased from 1165 to 1657. The statistics released in 2015 showed a better increase to 2226 tigers. In 2018, the tiger population is estimated to cross 3000. The National Tiger Conservation Authority is responsible for the conservation of tigers in India. One of the primary objectives of the project tigers is to reduce the factors that lead to a reduction of tiger habitat and to ensure a place for tigers free from human activities.
By 2006 it was realized that the tiger community in India was subjected to poaching. One of the reasons Project tiger failed was due to lack of proper security.