A female tiger thought to have killed 13 people in India has finally been hunted down.
For the past two years, the 5-year-old tiger has terrorised residents of Pandharkawada, a town in central India.
According to the New York Times, evidence she was the single culprit has been collected in the form of “DNA tests, camera traps, numerous spottings and pugmarks — tiger footprints”.
And for months, groups of young men have been out on patrol, both searching for the tiger in order to both capture her, and protect their families from her.
One village lost three residents in August alone.
In desperation, the pack of forest rangers trying to pin her down grew to “hundreds”, and involved heat-seeking drones, remote cameras, and elephant-riding sharpshooters.
They even tried bulldozing parts of the jungle.
But in the end, it was the scent of Calvin Klein’s ‘Obsession’ perfume that lured the tiger they had labelled “T-1” out.
On November 2, the rangers sprayed Obsession “on bushes here and there”. Within a few hours, T-1 appeared, identified by the stripes that are unique to each tiger.
She was shot with a tranquiliser, but unfortunately, she didn’t handle the attack too well in the 15 or so minutes it usually takes for tranquiliser to do its job.
The hunters say T-1 charged them, and they were forced to shoot and kill her; otherwise “we would have lost a few men had we tried to save her”, one of the hunter’s family members told The New York Times.
The villagers celebrated the death, but wildlife activists are outraged about the “murder” of a mother who was “simply trying to defend her cubs”.
It’s the end of a sad tale for all involved, but if you’re wondering “Why Obsession?”, the cologne has some history in big cat folklore.
In 2014, Scientific American reported keepers at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo sprayed the cologne around their big cat enclosures as part of their “enrichment program”.
“They literally roll onto the ground, rub their cheeks all over it, and rub their faces with it,” Louise Ginman, the Unit Supervisor for Carnivores said.
“I guess it’s kind of like the reaction that you get from a cat when it’s enjoying catnip, they just seem to be in absolute heaven.”
The irresistible ingredient is thought to be civetone, a thick, yellow substance secreted from glands near the anus of the civet cat.
In case you weren’t aware, that’s the same animal that poos out the world’s most expensive coffee beans.
Again, its the secretion it picks up on the outward bound journey that gives the coffee its “musky smoothness”.
And it’s that musk – or possibly the vanilla tones – that brings the big cats. In 2013, biologist Miguel Ordeñana told Scientific American that he used Obsession to lure jaguars.
He noted they felt compelled to rub their own scent on it, possibly as a form of territorial marker.
And maybe reconsider what cologne you use on your next jungle safari.
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