The men stand still, frozen with fear. They couldn't have zoomed off as that would have agitated the tigers and led to an instant attack or a terrifying chase.
The tigers, however, don't seem to be in a mood to taste blood. While one of them strolls around, takes rest and resumes his leisurely walk, the other one, not much of a walker, sits peacefully.
India is home to the world's largest tiger population, which is threatened by a loss of habitat as well as poachers. With increasing human encroachment into their reserves, conflicts between humans and tigers are inevitable. But most attacks on humans are chance encounters gone wrong, according to various findings.
As per the last count in 2014, India was home to 2,226 adult tigers, up by nearly 500 tigers in a period of four years. The National Tiger Conservation Authority, which is in the throes of a fresh tiger count, estimates that the tiger numbers may rise to nearly 3,000 by 2019 amid enhanced protection of their habitat.
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