We saw his prints by the riverbed that day
And were amazed by their size
An eerie vibe hung in the air
Like we were being stalked with his eyes!
We had heard the stories
How you’ve tasted soldier meat
And hunted at night
While we were asleep!
We soon forgot about them
As the sun went down
And we set up camp by the river
In a clear piece of ground
Night fell hard and black
We tried to sleep
But were restless from recent battles
Yet no one talked or made a peep!
Then in the black of night
We heard splashing in the river
And since “Charlie” moved in silence
It made our spines quiver!
We hunkered down
Figured there was 30 or more
I told Sarge here we go
Katie bar the door!
Then someone yelled
It’s the Tiger and he’s coming fast
We aimed at the shadow
And cut loose with a blast!
We hollered for “Shorty”
Get up here with your “thump gun”
He said, “I’m not on that cats’ menu.”
And broke into a run!
So we fired a couple clips of “16”
And tossed two Grenades
And one last deafening roar
The Tiger made!!
The next morning we tracked him down
There he lay upon the ground
His beauty took our breath away
No one made a sound!
I said, I’m sorry my friend
Your life had to end
Like us you were caught up in a war
Yet killing you seems like a sin!
Here are some stories of Soldiers that came face to face with these wild cats. The following accounts are of two men that were attacked by the man eating tigers, and survived. ☺
While we all know that Vietnam was a very unusual war, I doubt that many people would believe that Vietnam’s tiger population was a beneficiary. But during the Vietnam wars, it was claimed that tiger populations and tiger attacks increased dramatically due to the many unburied bodies. After all, tigers are known scavengers that feed at old kills, whether their own or not. There were also many tiger sightings by U.S. troops.
One of the most unusual tiger stories to arise was the case of the 3rd Recon Battalion Marine who survived a tiger attack while on patrol in Quang Tri Province in 1968, near where a Marine had allegedly* been killed by a tiger in November 1967. The 400 pound man-eating tiger attacked swiftly and silently, and the first warning the six-man patrol had was screaming from one of the four sleeping Marines. Startled while feeding on the man by the other Marines, the tiger started dragging its prey away before it was killed. The lucky victim was medivaced suffering lacerations and bites on the neck.
In another incident in 1969, a Marine in an ambush position in dense bush felt a tug on his leg and saw a large shape in the black night. After radioing in movement around them and despite being 100% alert, the tiger stealthily returned and grabbed another patrol member before being blown away by five excited Marines. Their buddy was released just slightly the worse for wear. According to SOP, they relocated their ambush, taking the dead 400 pound tiger with them so that they could extract it the next day. Alas, the monsoon meant that choppers couldn’t get up that day, so their focus shifted to preserving the corpse before it started rotting. Fortunately, one of the fellows in the rear radioed that tannic acid, used for curing hides, was contained in urine. The next day, a very smelly carcass made it back to base still in shape for photographs.
Read more accounts
Of tigers from the men who fought the war.