An angry, snarling tiger baring her teeth or just a mother yawning after a hectic day shopping for baby food? What you see is not always what you get.
Most of the snarling tiger pictures that you see in books or on the internet are actually yawning tigers. Similarly, most of the tiger hunting stories that you might have read are also just that. Stories. Fabrication & exaggeration intended to bolster the image of the brave, noble human versus a ferocious, bloodthirsty & brutish monster.
The desperate need for the human ego to convince itself of its supremacy over all other creatures is the fuel that ignites this psychology and has created reams and reams of jungle lore, books and accounts over the centuries. Even today, it is that same primal urge in our DNA which motivates people like the ‘Cecil-killer’ dentist or others of his ilk to pose victorious over the ‘dead monsters’.
Simply put, I would guess that 90% of all hunting kills are nothing more than humans stalking up to an unsuspecting and non-threatening animal and then murdering it from a safe distance. I know this because I have done this myself as a young man.
Lost in this ‘make-believe’ game that todays ‘legal’ hunters play, is the fact that all these creatures have a nobility and graciousness towards others along with a healthy respect for their environment, which far exceeds that of our own species. But then that wouldn’t make a good story, or a good picture, or sell any books, or make any heroes out of any of us, would it?
We need villains for us to be heroes, and if there aren’t any we can always make some up.