Tiger Hunting in India Was Regarded as a Royal Sport
During the rule by the British Crown in India between 1858 and 1947, tiger-hunting was regarded as a royal sport. The jungle beasts of India are ferocious, while the Indian people were practically unarmed and unwilling to kill most animals because of their religion.
It is believed that in 1900 there were about 100,000 tigers in the world of which possibly as few as 3,890 individuals are surviving today in the wild, according to 2016 report of World Wildlife Fund.
In the 19th century, tigers were plentiful virtually throughout the subcontinent in all the forested areas from the Himalayan foot hills to Cape Comorin.
Europeans, who came to India in 18th century with new technology, were the real plunderers of wildlife in the country.
They came with new weaponry in the form of guns and explosives.
Europeans, especially the British that came as traders soon became masters. Hunting was their favourite past time, which soon became a prestigious sport. This is where the real decline of big cats started.
The local Maharajas played especial role by organizing shikars and playing host to their British patrons.
Bored Britishers took to tiger hunting to get enthused about being in India
Tiger hunting, British India
A servant standing beside seven killed tigers
Man posing after hunting tigers in an unknown location in India
The Prince of Wales tiger shooting (1876)
Maharaja Jai Singh Of Jaipur
Tiger hunting by George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, and his wife in British India, 1903.