Sunday, March 13, 2011

Land of the Man-eaters

On the border between India and Bangladesh, three mighty rivers empty into the sea, forming the largest river delta in the world. Nestled in this region is a mangrove swamp/forest known as the Sundarbans. This habitat seethes with life in the wash of fresh river water and ocean salt. It is beautiful, majestic, awe inspiring.

And deadly if you're a human. Why?
There are over 400 tigers living in the Sunderbans, the largest population of tigers anywhere living in a single, contained area. Unlike tigers everywhere else, they do not fear man, but rather view us as just another selection on the menu.

There are also roughly 5,000 people living around the Sundarbans, eking out an existence on its fringes and often making illegal trips into the interior for wood and honey.

These two collection of facts, when placed together, show why the Sundarbans is such a deadly place. Between 50 and 250 people are killed, and presumably eaten, every year.
As you can see, tigers are great swimmers, so great they can pull a man off a boat and carry him away with ease. They often do.

As for land excursions, villagers foiled many attacks by wearing masks on the backs of their heads. Tigers like to attack from behind. Unfortunately for the villagers, tigers aren't stupid. They figured it out and are now back to eating people on a regular basis.

It really is a magical place. I'm sure by now you're frothing at the mouth for a chance to go there yourself and bask in the wonders of nature.

You know the best part? You can. Just go here.

Enjoy you're stay. He looks Hungry.

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