Once respected, feared, and revered across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent where it roamed in majestic arrogance, the tiger in India is today an endangered species with its numbers dwindling alarmingly. In this situation the efforts of Valmik Thapar, one of Indias foremost tiger conservationists, and others like him are isolated voices in the wilderness.
The first section 'Introducing the Tiger', apart from discussing the origins of the tiger, provides interesting sidelights on tiger subspecies and global distribution. It sets the stage for the next chapter, 'Tiger Facts', a two-page visual representation of the unique physical attributes of the tiger which make it one of the most efficient hunters.
The core of the book, 'The Life of the Tiger', explores the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of the Indian tiger as lived in the wild and also includes excerpts from writings by other tiger experts, past and present. The section 'The Future of the Tiger', while discussing the crisis of the tiger today links this to the cult of the tiger. Apart from the photos and line drawings of tigers and other animals interspersing the narrative, the 8 page colour section depicting the lifecycle of the tiger will be a special attraction for readers. Discussing 'the future of the tiger', Thapar makes an impassioned appeal for drastic measures to save this precious heritage of ours from disappearing through apathy.
INTRODUCING THE TIGER: THE ORIGINS OF THE TIGER / THE TIGER THROUGH THE AGES / TIGERS TODAY / TIGER SUBSPECIES; TIGER FACTS: FOOD / SIZE / LIFECYCLE / TIGER ANATOMY / TIGER SENSES; THE LIFE OF THE TIGER: BIRTH / THE FIRST MONTHS / FAMILY LIFE / PROTECTIVE MOTHER / FAMILY AND THE COMPETITION FOR FOOD / THREATS TO CUBS / LEARNING ADULT SKILLS / THE BREAKUP OF THE FAMILY / RANGE, TERRITORY, AND MOBILITY / COMMUNICATION, MARKING, AND MESSAGES / SOLITARY OR NOT? / HUNTING / SPECIAL HUNTING TECHNIQUES / DIET / TIGERS AND FORMIDABLE ADVERSARIES / COURTSHIP AND MATING; THE FUTURE OF THE TIGER