Monday 16 June 2014

Tigers and other predators

This picture was taken at the Natural History Museum, it is one of those old stuffed animals they have, depicted in a dramatic pause. Here, a tiger eagerly eating the fresh carcass of its prey, a deer I think (or some kind of cervid anyway). I love these stuffed animals, the fact that they date back from ages, more than a century sometimes adds to the charm.I have no idea where the tiger is from or if the depiction is authentic: can such deer exist in the wild in the same environment as a tiger, does the flowering sapling behind them come from the same area as either the tiger or the deer? I don't care, it is beautiful and so life like.

And I have something to confess: while I find the tiger terrifying, I can't help not finding this image cruel. Or rather, I accept the cruelty of predatorism. It is true of every predator of the animal kingdom, it is even more true of feline predators. Tigers, in the end, are merely big cats, and I love cats. They hunt, but they always eat the kill. Which tones down the cruelty of the action. In fact, in the tiger's mind, there is no true cruelty, just hunger. Of course, I would not befriend a tiger. I will reserve this to its smaller cousins. All the same, I look at this image and cannot help finding the tiger quite cute.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Well, as that line of poetry goes: "Nature, red in tooth and claw" etc.

Cynthia said...

I think you will love this BBC story:

Guillaume said...

@Debra-Beautiful saying.
@Cynthia-Merci! Et devine ce que j'ai regardé ce soir.