The Rumble in the Jungle
The male tigers rear up, boxing and throwing the claws forward to protect
the throat and spine (Yvette van Bommel)
I recently watched on TV a rerun of the boxing
match between George Foreman and Mohammed Ali in Kinshasa.
This is perhaps the most famous fight in the
history of boxing and was called "The Rumble in the Jungle".
George Foreman towered over Ali and was a clear
favourite to win the fight by a knockout.
If ever a fight was won with intelligence,
strategy and instinct, it was this one.
Ali, in 40 degree heat and high humidity, employed
the now famous "rope a dope", causing Foreman to punch himself out
and become exhausted. Sensing that Foreman was a spent force, Ali
turned the tables on Foreman and knocked him out in the 8th round.
Recently I witnessed a similar "Rumble in the
Jungle" at Tiger Canyons between "Shy Boy" and "Mahindra", two big
The boxers have padded gloves on their hands. The
tigers have 5 curved sharp, vicious meat hooks, which extend when
Boxers have been known to use their teeth,
witness when Mike Tyson bit off Holyfield's ear. Tigers have long
upper and lower canines and if they can get the opponent by the
throat, they will use those canines to suffocate him to death.
If the tiger can get the opponent onto the ground, he will use the
interlocking canines to suffocate his rival (Yvette van Bommel)
When boxers feel they are losing a round, they
will often go down on one knee in a submissive position and simulate
a knock down to buy time. "Mahindra" when he felt he was losing, went down
onto the ground in a submissive position. As soon as "Mahindra"
submitted "Shy Boy" called off the attack. A boxer is not allowed to
punch an opponent when he's down.
"Mahindra" submits to "Shy Boy" by rolling on his back (Yvette van
Before a fight, boxers will try to stare down an
opponent to intimidate them. Both tigers during the fight went nose
to nose, staring into each others eyes for several minutes.
The male tigers stare each other down in an attempt to intimidate
the opposition (Yvette van Bommel)
During the "Rumble in the Jungle", Ali continued
to talk to Foreman, trying to intimidate him verbally. Throughout the
tiger fight, both tigers growled continuously trying to intimate the
To prevent "Shy Boy" getting behind him to
inflict a spine bite, "Mahindra" backed into a thorn bush which
provided protection behind him. In the Rumble in the Jungle, Ali
would back into the corner of the ring, forcing Foreman to approach
him from the front.
Angela Dundee, Ali's trainer, claimed that Foreman
became fatigued because he missed with so many punches. A missed
punch takes more out of a boxer than one that lands. In the tiger
fight, swiping paws took tremendous energy from the cats.
"Shy Boy" and "Mahindra's" paw speed defied the
human eye, considerably faster than any human being can throw
The paw speed defies the human eye, faster than any human boxer can
throw (John Varty)
By mutual agreement, the cats stop to rest during
the fight. In boxing, it's more formalized and after 3 minutes of boxing,
a bell is rung and the boxers rest for 2 minutes.
"Mahindra" now employs another strategy. He gets
onto an outcrop of rocks to get above his opponent. Now "Shy Boy"
must fight from below. "Shy Boy" counters by getting onto higher
rocks above "Mahindra". On the sharp rocks, it is too dangerous for
the two tigers to fight. It's a stalemate!
From the higher rocks, "Shy Boy" proclaims himself
the winner. He struts back and forth marking his territory. "Mahindra"
remains below in a submissive posture.
In the "Rumble in the Jungle", Ali's hand raised
high and his supporters lift him in triumph and Ali jumps onto the
ropes, while Foreman sits dejected on his stool, head bowed in
a defeated posture.
Therefore, like the "Rumble in the Jungle" the two
male tigers employed, intimidation, communication, ritual and
strategy. There is virtually no difference between 2 heavyweight
boxers and 2 male tigers fighting, except that in boxing the
fighting has been formalized.
In the case of the boxers, the loser loses his
title and in the case of the tigers, the defeated tiger can lose his life.
The tiger fight is raw, brutal and primal and
death for one or both tigers is never far away.
However, in battle once again the similarities
between tigers and humans are exposed. Both are predators, both have
forward facing eyes and both species are aggressive. The only
difference is, humans spend $10 million a minute on fighting, war and
destruction. Tiger spend just their energy.
The war between humans and tigers is "one sided"
to say the least. There are around 1000 wild tigers left, at a loss
of a tiger per day (45,000 tigers are incarcerated in cages by
The human population now exceeds 7 billion.
Let me thank you all for the wonderful support
you gave me during 2012, especially during and after the tiger
Wishing you all the very best health and
happiness for the New Year and many successful tiger and leopard
JV Image Library
The images can be purchased individually or
companies can select 12 images and we will but them into a
calendar with your company logo on it.
All income will go to Tiger Conservation.
Remember closing date for the photo
competition is 30th September. You should submit 3 leopard and
3 tigers pictures.
An experienced editor to cut programmes for
broadcasters and YouTube. Must be trained on Final Cut Pro and
be able to photoshop. Contact Sunette
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