Corbetts or the Indochinese tiger -- Panthera tigris corbetti

Corbetts - Page 1&2: In The Wild | 3: In Captivity | 4: Subspecies Description | 5: Weight & Length Figures
6&7: Conservation

Subspecies description:

This subspecies was named after Jim Corbett, a renown hunter, author and perhaps India's first conservationist. Corbett became famed among villagers for protecting them against tigers who had turned man-eater. In earlier times this tiger was known for a tendency to approach villages and this may have helped to inspire the name.

Corbetts tiger is darker than the Bengal while being lighter than the Sumatran. They have short black narrow stripes which turn into spots. These are overlaid on an ochre coloured background and reduce in number towards the forequarters. The inside legs, stomach, throat and cheeks have large white areas. Whiskers are more prominent in males than females.

Corbetts Tiger - Size:

As with all tigers originating from warmer climates, Corbetts tiger is one of the smaller subspecies. The average adult is small enough that were it an Amur tiger it would still qualify as being a cub. On average there is a two foot difference between the size of an adult male Corbetts tiger and an adult male Amur (Siberian).

The reduction in size of tigers from warmer areas is explained by the fact that smaller animals can dissipate heat better. A larger body size, such as that found in the Amur tiger, naturally conserves heat.

Man and the Corbetts tiger:

Vietnamese folklore has built Corbetts tiger up to where it is referred to as 'chua son lam' (translation: 'stronger than any mountain inhabitant'). Tigers are believed to be at their most active on the final night, of the last month, of the lunar year and offerings are made to pacify these big cats. Belief even exists in parts of Annam that a tiger can assume the form of  a human.

Native people regularly take steps to discourage tigers entering villages. The Ede community of the central plateau post guards and clear wide areas surrounding their village, all in an effort to protect livestock and people. Most of the fear is based upon rumour of previous tiger attacks, some being true, but many of which are highly exaggerated. Tigers generally avoid man, except in very rare circumstances, (an exception to this are the famous man-eaters of the Sundarbans).

It is because of these beliefs that the tiger is so hunted and tiger parts command such high prices. Native people will pay large amounts to harness the strength of the tiger as a curative for what ails them. Frequently, the item they pay for is not genuine anyway, but it helps to further the myths surrounding this animal.

For some unknown reason, the artist who painted the tiger shown above gave it slit pupils. Big cats like the tiger and lion, actually have round pupils.

Corbetts - Page 1&2: In The Wild | 3: In Captivity | 4: Subspecies Description | 5: Weight & Length Figures
6&7: Conservation

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Photography With Thanks To Denise McQuillen (Photo 1)
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