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Oryx (2009), 43:44-47 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2009

Carnivore conservation: Short Communications

Can domestic dogs save humans from tigers Panthera tigris?

M. Monirul H. Khana1a2 c1

a1 Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK.
a2 Current address: Department of Zoology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka 1342, Bangladesh.
Article author query
khan mm [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Attempts were taken to reduce tiger-human conflict in and around the Sundarbans, Bangladesh, from August 2005 to January 2007 using domestic dogs. Keeping one tethered dog with each group of people working in the mangrove forest was found to be effective in reducing the risk of being attacked by tigers Panthera tigris. The dogs warned people of the presence of tiger. The responses of 40 dogs were recorded and verified and it was found that the dogs could detect the presence of any nearby sizeable wild animal with a success rate of 92% but they could not always distinguish tiger from wild boar Sus scrofa or spotted deer Axis axis. Success rate in distinguishing the tiger was 62%. The dogs were particularly useful for honey gatherers because when they smoke the honeycomb visibility becomes poor and they become more vulnerable to attack by tigers.

(Received November 03 2007)

(Reviewed January 11 2008)

(Accepted April 07 2008)

KeywordsHuman casualty; human-tiger conflict; Panthera tigris; pet dog; Sundarbans; tiger


c1 Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK. E-mail mmhkhan@hotmail.com