I partially agree with the comments of certain users, but I think there are some points that need to be clarified.
When talking about animals that are as formidable and unpredictable as tigers, you need to keep yourself unbiased regarding facts but also beware of antagonizing the animal. Tigers are revered in many cultures but they are also greatly feared. Historically, tigers have killed, critically injured, and some cases, even eaten humans. In South Asia, particularly in India, it is estimated that throughout the course of history, tigers have killed over 10,000 people. BUT, there is a significant difference between the tigers that have attacked humans and the tigers that have actually acquired a taste for human flesh, these so-called "man-eating beasts". Man-eating tigers do not exist in the modern day. Old, ill and provoked tigers are more likely to execute attacks on humans than healthy, younger specimens which naturally fear and avoid humans.
The legends that sprung the whole imagery about the tigers prowling in the night and stalking villagers from the jungle were mainly caused by two reasons: A) Tiger sightings near villages and possible attacks on livestock and B) During the Vietnam and Korean wars, the bodies of many dead soldiers were left unburied, causing tigers to take advantage of available meat. The consumption of corpses was the main reason why some tigers in certain regions developed a hunting style that included the purposeful attacking, killing and consuming human flesh. In general, tigers, just like all other predatory animals, do not regard humans as their primary prey. It is incredibly rare that a wild animal would become a man-eater.
Also, people should consider that these places where most of tiger attacks and human killings happen are in remote, secluded areas where humans are populated at the center of regions where the density of tiger populations are high. Animals that have not learned to fear and avoid people are prone to attack, but more because of defensive than predatorial reasons - for example, Arctic wolves that live in the High Arctic regions probably do not ever encounter humans. Most predators have learned to avoid human presence, including wolves, lynxes, bears, mountain lions, wolverines. Tigers in South Asia and Russian Far East do not live in close proximity with people and when they come across with humans, they show no fear because they have not learned to fear our scent and the noises we make. And when humans begin to provoke animals that do not fear us, it can lead to wildlife attacks.
AUGUST 2009 USER OF THE MONTH