And although they may have been bloodthirsty and dangerous beasts we can hardly avoid regretting that we must depend so much on our imaginations to bring them to life, and can never hope to enjoy the spectacle of a litter of sabre – tooth kittens at play.
Roselyn Ewer, South African Paleontologist, 1954.
There is no track of tiger presence in Africa in the past.
Thus, occidental eurasian tigers were present in oriental mediterranean areas during the wet Holocene optimum (between 9000 and 6000 BP) and some of them have perhaps taken place in nilotic regions following enormous reed beds that were prevalent (with giant reed six meters high), in the immediate proximity of dominant hippo herds of the predynastic era. They even could have gone much farer to the South in the heart of oriental Africa up to Victoria Lake.
From this point of view, it may be noted that several strange « cryptozoïds » feline have been localized in these regions, from African Horn to Tanzania. Some of them were possible descenders of these ancient nilotic tigers, that had submitted quick genetic changes (isolation from congeners, adaptation to a different ecological context).
Particularly, the MNGWA, a gigantic grey tabby cat, subject of medieval Swahili war songs and of numerous later tales, has sometimes been interpretated as a tiger whose colour would be the result of his secondary adaptation to the deep forest of coastal Tanzania. This animal has been discovered by european public after the observations of english captain Hitchens during the 1920 years.
I any way, the experiment of Li Quan, who rewilds South Chinese tigers in austral Africa, where they learn to capture antelopes, before relocalizing some of their children or grand children in wild chinese areas, show that these animals can easily live there, with both good sites and abundant wild preys available, as well as the best zootechnicians in the world.
Perhaps tigers had already a place on african continent.
It is easy to emphasize, and so to hope, that they are going to have one in the near future.