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John Varty

Netherlands peter Offline
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#76
( This post was last modified: 06-30-2017, 01:06 PM by peter )

ABOUT MALE TIGERS, TERRITORIAL BEHAVIOUR, FIGHTS, TACTICS AND REWILDING PROJECTS


WILD MALE AMUR TIGER UPORNY

Remember the story on male tiger Uporny recently discussed in the tiger extinction thread? When he had just left his mother, Uporny, most probably half starved (it was November), killed a dog in or near a village. He was immediately arrested. After 6 months of rehabilitation, at the age of 3, he was released into the wild. From then on, Uporny, now collared, avoided anything even remotely related to humans. He settled near a river and mated. The tigress had cubs.

On February 17 of this year, his collar suggested something had happened. About a month later, they found him close to the wild boar he had killed. As he had died from wounds to his head and back, they first thought of a brown bear attack. Autopsy however strongly suggested that Uporny had been killed by another tiger. 

The question was why he had wounds to his back. I thought he had been surprised by another male while feeding. The other male, most probably, first targeted his back, maybe to immobilize him. When Uporny turned round to defend himself, big fangs were buried into his throat.

When a tiger (or another big cat, for that matter) is trapped in this way, there's no defence. When the aggressor is an experienced and powerful wild tiger, chances are his windpipe will be crushed immediately. When the aggressor lacks the power to crush the windpipe, his victim will be strangulated.    


CAPTIVE MALE TIGER CORBETT
 
John Varty runs a facilty somewhere in southern Africa. His trade is tigers. They don't live in cages, but in more or less wild country. With more or less, I mean that the area they occupy is fenced. The tigers are monitored as well. Although 'rewilding' seems to be the aim, at least to a degree, Varty apparently doesn't want the full monty.   

Varty no doubt knows that a captive tiger developing into a wild tiger will try to find a nice ranch and breed. The ranch conquered will be vigorously patrolled and defended. The search for a home is not a game. Wild tigers competing for space will fight and kill each other. 

Only few wild tigers will conquer a territory and breed. My guess that about a third will get to adulthood. This means that most others will either succumb in fights or remain transients. In the Russian Far East, as a result of very large territories, transients might stand a chance, but in densely populated reserves in India, they can't avoid interactions. As there is nowhere to go, it's do or die.                 

Back to Varty. Here's some quotes:

" ... A month after Tiger Boy killed Zaria's cubs, Corbett killed Tiger Boy (Corbett immobilized Tiger Boy with a spine bite & then throttled him) ... ".

" ... Two months later Corbett killed Tiger Boy's brother Shy Boy with similar tactics (It is not always the biggest tiger that wins the fight but the most experienced. Because of his aggression, Corbett was involved in many fights & became a very skilled fighter) ... " .

" ... After a long delibertion, I euthanized Corbett. Some people say it was a good riddance to a bad tiger. I never felt that way. I still feel a sense of deep loss. I still am a great admirer of Tiger Corbett. He had all the ingredients to be a territorial made tiger. Overloaded with testoterone, he was extremely aggressive. He killed male & female tigers. He had become in the end a serial killer ... ".


CONCLUSIONS

1 - In serious fights, it nearly always is a close call. When his cubs had been killed by 'Tiger Boy', 'Corbett', about 200 kg. (442 pounds), attacked him. During the fight, 'Tiger Boy' got a death grip. It would have been game over for 'Corbett', but tigress Zaria saved his life. Some time later, 'Corbett' attacked 'Tiger Boy'. My guess is he surprised him. This resulted in a spine bite followed by a death grip. As 'Tiger Boy' was on his own, he couldn't get out of it.  

2 - Based on what I read, my guess is male tiger 'Uporny' was surprised as well. The 'wounds to his back' could have been the result of a deliberate spine bite. Maybe this results in immobilisation and maybe it doesn't. It is a big disadvantage no matter what. You can't go forward or backward. The only option is to turn around and chances are it will be the last turn you do. Adult wild male tigers have a crippling bite. Once they lock on, it's game over. Uporny didn't stand a chance. There were no traces of a fight in the snow. 

3 - Varty wrote that aggression would result in experience and skill. Could be, but we also know that Corbett had been extremely lucky on at least two occasions (referring to fights with 'Saetao' and 'Tiger Boy'). His aggression could just as well have backfired, that is. For this reason, I have doubts on experience and skill. If it means getting involved in a fight you can leave, it could be. But if it results in an all-out with a similar-sized male, it could be the end.

The only way to get to an early advantage is a surprise attack, so it seems. The spine thing apparently is a bit underestimated in tigers. The question is if it is learned behaviour or a result of instinct. If it would have been a result of learning, it would have to be experienced first. As a victim, I mean. Doesn't seem likely, as it has devastating results. This means that is has to be a result of instinct. This is confirmed in that it was both seen in a 'rewilded' male (referring to 'Corbett') and a wild male (the wild male Amur tiger who killed 'Uporny').


VARTY'S PROJECT

To finish the post, a few remarks on Varty's project. The aim isn't destruction or the opposite, but to get the facts straight.

a) Varty is connected to wildlife. Important, as the natural world is on its way out everywhere.  

b) His tigers don't live in cages, but have a kind of life. They're different from the parodies seen in zoos and facilities. 

c) Varty's place isn't part of an ecosystem suited for tigers. It also isn't a reserve with government back-up, researchers, rangers and a buffer zone. This means his project is a private firm of some kind and that money, for lack of a clear product, will be a structural problem.           
 
d) Varty's goal is unclear: his tigers can't be introduced in Asia and don't belong in Africa. 

e) Varty's goal on rewilding is unclear. Wild tigers avoid humans, but Varty tries to keep in touch. He also knows that only the most aggressive will succeed. In spite of that, he took the most capable in that department out.   

f) I know Varty is struggling. Not saying that his project could be transformed into a tiger farm, a Jurassic park or a place where you can see a bout between dangerous animals, but investors nearly always want a say. And a return, one way or the other. I hope he will stay on top of the situation. I've seen too many similar projects end up in a total mess.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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#77

RECENT INTERVIEW WITH VARTY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwnf0Cd37Os
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United States Pckts Offline
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#78

Lets not forget that Jon Varty is a lot more than just a "tiger guy"
He and his family started the Londolozi Game reserve and he's had a lifetime of experience with wild african animals.

"John Varty filming the Mapogos (Mr T, PB and Kinky Tail) @ Londolozi and trying to get close to one of them, Kinky Tail (no one did it before!!!)"





""Hunt with Me"

the legendary wildlife filmmaker John Varty presents some of his favorite hunts (lions hunting buffalo and buffalo turning on a lion). In the first scene we can see the West Street males, in the second 3 young Mapogos were hunting and Rasta was very lucky to escape with his life...."




"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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United States Pckts Offline
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#79

JV images: Bird mating with Tibo at Tiger Canyons
Sundaban is the dominant territorial male. Bird (called Bird because of the spot pattern on his forehead ) is the son of Tibo, the white tigress.
When Tibo comes into oestrus, Bird interfers with the mating. However, Tibo is aggressive towards Bird and will not allow him mate with her.
Bird is bigger than Sundaban (I estimate Bird to be 225kg) with the result that he can't expell Bird from the territory.
For 3 days Sundaban mated with Tibo and on the third day Bird is allowed to mate with Tibo, just twice.
Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV



*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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United States Polar Offline
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Wait, what?

Bird is mating with his mother? 

"Bird (called Bird because of the spot pattern on his forehead ) is the son of Tibo, the white tigress."

Does this usually happen in the wild or is this just an isolated case? I thought every animal had genetic ability to smell which relatives are closest, and not to mate with them.

Wow!
"Lions, tigers, bears, AND polar bears, oh my!"

- Polar, September 2017
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United States Pckts Offline
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#81
( This post was last modified: 10-09-2017, 10:26 PM by Pckts )

John Varty

JV Images: Because Bird is bigger than Sundarban and because Sundarban is low on testosterone, Sundarban is unable to remove Bird from the territory.
The result is Bird and Sundarban have formed a coalition and often spend time in the water playing together.
Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV

*This image is copyright of its original author
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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India Rishi Offline
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(08-15-2017, 03:31 AM)Polar Wrote: Wait, what?

Bird is mating with his mother? 

"Bird (called Bird because of the spot pattern on his forehead ) is the son of Tibo, the white tigress."

Does this usually happen in the wild or is this just an isolated case? I thought every animal had genetic ability to smell which relatives are closest, and not to mate with them.

Wow!

Yes, they do that...A LOT.

I'm trying to find an old video i've seen of father-son duo mating with a female. Will post it shortly.
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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United States Pckts Offline
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#83

John Varty
JV Images: Bird and Sundarban spent an hour play fighting
in the water and on the flood plain.


It is rare for male tigers to form coalitions.
Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
-Oscar Wilde
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