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Tiger Hunting [Singapore]

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y30311D

Scope and Contents

270 x 205 mm. Showing a posed group of a European holding a rifle by a dead tiger, with malays standing around.

In Falconer (1987), he writes of a copy of this photograph: 'This photograph must show one of the last tigers killed on the island and represents a reminder of the scourge which plagued Singapore for many years. In the earliest days of the settlement tigers, preferring the dense jungle, posed little threat to the inhabitants. The first recorded account of a tiger attack dates from 1831, and four years later in 1835 the architect George Coleman had a narrow escape while surveying in the jungle. But as the spread of gambier and pepper planting opened up the land from the 1830s onwards, the depradation of the tiger began to constitute a serious menace. In 1840, for example, five deaths in eight days were reported and in one year alone in the 1860s over 200 deaths from tiger attacks took place. Government rewards for carcasses, the formation of tiger hunting clubs, the digging of traps and the gradual erosion of the jungle habitat eventually eliminated the tiger population and the last fatality took place in 1890. Two tigers were killed near the town in 1896 and the last one on the island was finally shot at Goodwood House in 1904'.

In Swettenham (1907) a photograph is reproduced facing p.338 of the same man supervising the loading of the tiger on a cart, and is captioned 'Mr G.P. Owen and a Singapore Tiger'. Owen is not mentioned in the text, and has not been identified: there was a John Fortescue Owen in Malaya 1889-1921 but his career was on the mainland, not Singapore.


  • Creation: 1890 - 1899


Conditions Governing Access

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1 item(s) (1 image)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition apart from slight fading at edges.


For a brief history of the demise of tigers in Singapore see: Falconer, John (1987), 'A vision of the past', Singapore: Times Editions. For a photograph of the same man see: Swettenham, Frank (1907), 'British Malaya', London: John Lane, The Bodley Head.


This collection level description was entered by SG using information from the original typescript catalogue.


G R Lambert and Co

Includes index.
2004-07-21 10:10:35+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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