Tigers Adapt to Avoid Humans

Research in Nepal shows big cats become more nocturnal around people
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2012 11:23 AM CDT
Tigers in Nepal seem to avoid humans by prowling at night.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Humans and tigers might just be able to coexist in the same space, with humans taking the day shift and the big cats coming out at night, a new study suggests. Researchers examined tiger habits in Chitwan National Park in Nepal, where tigers and humans share the same paths, the BBC explains. They found that tigers, who normally operate both during the day and at night, adopted more nocturnal habits to avoid the humans.

The research could lead to a major change in tiger preservation strategies, because until now tigers have largely been kept far away from human populations. But tigers and people need the same resources, a Michigan State researcher explains. "Tigers need to use the same space as people if they are to have a viable long-term future," he says. "What we're learning in Chitwan is that tigers seem to be adapting to make it work." (Read more tiger stories.)

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