With all his ferocity and cruelty, however, I am of opinion that the tiger is more cowardly than courageous. He will always try to escape a danger, and fly from attack, rather than attack in return or wait to meet it, and wherever he can, in pursuit of his prey, he will trust rather to his cunning than to his strength, and he always prefers an ambuscade to an open onslaught.
 This was at the time the Prince of Wales was shooting
not very far from where I was then stationed. Most of the
elephants in the district had been sent up to his Royal Highness’s
camp, or were on their way to take part in the ceremonies of the
grand Durbar in Delhi.
The tiger’s mode of attack.—The food he prefers.—Varieties of prey. —Examples.—What he eats first.—How to tell the kill of a tiger. —Appetite fierce.—Tiger choked by a bone.—Two varieties of tiger.—The royal Bengal.—Description.—The hill tiger.—His description.—The two compared.—Length of the tiger.—How to measure tigers.—Measurements.—Comparison between male and female. —Number of young at a birth.—The young cubs.—Mother teaching cubs to kill.—Education and progress of the young tiger.—Wariness and cunning of the tiger.—Hunting incidents shewing their powers of concealment.—Tigers taking to water.—Examples.—Swimming powers. —Caught by floods.—Story of the Soonderbund tigers.
The tiger’s mode of attack is very characteristic of his whole nature. To see him stealthily crouching, or crawling silently and sneakingly after a herd of cattle, dodging behind every clump of bushes or tuft of grass, running swiftly along the high bank of a watercourse, and sneaking under the shadowing border of a belt of jungle, is to understand his cunning and craftiness. His attitude, when he is crouching for the final bound, is the embodiment of suppleness and strength. All his actions are graceful, and half display and half conceal beneath their symmetry and elegance the tremendous power and deadly ferocity that lurks beneath. For a short distance he is possessed of great speed, and with a few short agile bounds he generally manages to overtake his prey. If baffled in his first attack, he retires growling to lie in wait for a less fortunate victim. His onset being so fierce and sudden, the animal he selects for his prey is generally taken at a great disadvantage, and is seldom in a position to make any strenuous or availing resistance.
Delivering the numbing blow with his mighty fore paw, he fastens on the throat of the animal he has felled, and invariably tries to tear open the jugular vein. This is his practice in nearly every case, and it shews a wonderful instinct for selecting the most deadly spot in the whole body of his luckless prey. When he has got hold of his victim by the throat, he lies down, holding on to the bleeding carcase,