Due to issues like climate change and the urbanization of their native habitats, some predators may begin to hunt humans for their meals, reported Popular Science.
Tigers are one example of these predators. In 2018, a tigress named Avni rose to infamy in India when she was hunted down in response to her attacks on humans. Man-eating big cats aren’t new to India, but Avni’s popularity started a debate about why these animals prey on humans.
Urbanization – the spread of cities into surrounding areas – is only one example of the man-made changes to animals’ environments that are changing the way those animals live.
The spread of human civilization has increasingly put people in contact with wildlife, and in countries like India, big cats like Avni live alongside humans more than ever before. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services announced an unprecedented acceleration of species extinction as a result of humans and insufficient habitats for long-term survival.
Climate change is another proposed explanation.
Avni not only suffered from habitat loss, but climate change has led to a decrease in biodiversity, an increase in extreme weather events and a greater struggle for resources. All of these encouraged the big cat to turn to humans as a food source.
As the effects of climate change continue to grow, humans are likely to increasingly be in conflict with other predators like Avni. The separation of human land and resources from those of other animals is disappearing.
Although tigers aren’t a threat to Indiana residents, the Hoosier state has its own predators to watch out for. Occasionally, large carnivores like mountain lions, black bears and gray wolves are spotted in Indiana. The Department of Natural Resources encourages citizens to report sightings of these large mammals.