CSI Tiger: tracks, corpse, invisible perpetrator!

The evidence is everywhere: tracks, paw prints, blood spots, body imprints. Deep in the forest the detective work begins. Paw prints are measured to determine the tiger’s size, and whether it is male or female. The way the print appears in the snow gives valuable clues as to when the tiger passed by. Often the tiger left them barely an hour or two before we came by.

When a tiger has killed its prey it drags it to a different spot to eat it. The story gets more complex as we follow not only tracks but drag marks. More paw prints: it now seems that it is a tigress and her cub. We have stumbled into the middle of the story, at the drag site. We must go further into the forest, back in time to to find the kill site.

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Blood spots and tracks. Something happened near here…
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This is where the tiger ate its kill: a deer. Only bones, fur, and entrails are left.
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Following the trail backwards, Sergey, our guide, shows where mother and cub dragged the deer across the frozen stream.
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Some way further back, the kill site. Blood and fur are scattered around, but there wasn’t much of a struggle. The deer was quite small and would have barely known what happened. For two hungry tigers, this was only a snack.

 

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