Local traditions and culture in State of West Bengal

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Most Viewed Local Customs in State of West Bengal

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    by lynnehamman Updated Feb 22, 2010

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    Tigers very rarely become man-eaters, as they instinctively avoid humans. Well documented accounts of attacks on humans have inspired many legends and intensified the mystery of the tiger. When man interferes with the delicate balance between predator and prey, by introducing domesticated livestock into tiger habitat, and thus reducing the available prey, tigers often become man-eaters. As livestock become more plentiful, tigers begin to prey on the herds, where the first human victim is usually a herdsman protecting his own cows or goats. Once acclimated to humans as a food source, tigers often seek out this mostly defenseless treat. Tigers here have killed more people than any other big cat.

    The Sundarbans is the original home territory to more than 500 tigers, many of which have become man-eaters. A few fisherfolk live in the Sundarbans, and some other villagers go there to fish, collect honey, and cut wood. Since 1975 over 800 people have been killed and eaten by these tigers, who are then usually hunted down and killed. To save both humans and tigers, conservationists are trying new ways to prevent tiger attacks. Since tigers generally attack from behind, wearing masks, painted with facial features, on the back of the head confuses the stalking tiger with a victim with no "apparent" back-side. The masks have helped reduce tiger attacks in the past five years

    RANGER49 has just sent me a link to a BBC news clip regarding loss of life caused by Tigers in Sunderbans. Please have a look at it. Thanks Barbara.*

    Video Sunderbans Tiger Attacks

    Article Times of India re Sunderbans

    Fisherfolk at Sunderbans-
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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo


    by lynnehamman Written Apr 10, 2009

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    The growth of these trees is prolific. They thrive in brackish waters, and as the tides ebb and flow, the new saplings can be seen-thousands upon thousands of tiny shoots sprouting up.
    The seed-pods are arrow-shaped and heavy- their weight and shape causes them to drop (pointy end first) into the soft mud of the river-bank, where the become firmly anchored. The briny water softens the seeds, and they immediately begin germinating. Growth is rapid.
    Mangrove trees do not have an exceptionally long life- the wood is not strong, and the older trees gradually become strangled by the newer trees. The shapes of these old gnarled trees are amazing- in Bengal there are many craftsmen who use these strange shaped branches to make the most beautiful and unusual wooden carvings. They may varnish, paint or just oil the wood,but each piece is different.

    Mangroves at Sunderbans
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State of West Bengal Local Customs

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