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Tigerland

From a fascinating article by Caroline Alexander in the April 21, 2008 New Yorker about tigers that live in the mangrove forests of Bengal, in India and Bangladesh:

Ahead, lazing on the mud, was a small crocodile. As the boat ambled on, Dr. Sanyal told of an eyewitness account reported many years ago: Crossing a broad river, like this one, a tiger had been followed by a crocodile. Maneuvering alongside the tiger, the crocodile thrashed its great tail, striking the tiger across his nose. Here Dr. Sanyal straightened his back and raised his head imperiously; unconsciously, he assumed the mien and manner of the hero-beast. “Tiger had blood coming out of his nose,” Dr. Sanyal said, majestically. “But he did not say a thing. He kept on swimming. As soon as he got to the other side, he put one paw on the ground, and he turned with the second paw and came up under the crocodile’s belly, and flipped him”—eighteen hundred pounds of estuarine crocodile, which the tiger then ripped open. There was a pause while we savored this tale of strategy and courage. Dr. Sanyal had regained his own gentle manner. “And this is why we love Tiger,” he said.

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