One Kill and Five Tigers – and Then we Spot a Legend …

Ben’s Update from Ranthambore on the Tigers of India Photo Tour:

Because we were very keen to find Krishna and her little cubs before the heat of the day sent them in search of shade and chilly water, we arrived at the Ranthambore gates as they opened this morning.

We found Krishna with her little cubs and not long after that we were lucky enough to spot the resident massive dominant male tiger in the area. The female had made a kill during the night, and the large male detected this and moved in to steal the kill from the unfortunate female. He then ate his fill, and as soon as she could the female grabbed the remains of the carcass and dragged it down into a gorge. The gorge was fairly shallow and wide with good shade and plenty of small ponds. She settled down to consume what was left of her kill while her little cubs romped and circled around her. Now and then they tried to grab a morsel, but mother was having none of that! She warned them off repeatedly with snarls and ominous growls. The cubs didn’t seem to mind at all and continued their game as they ran through the many puddles, pounced on one other, tumbled, and then tried again to pinch a morsel from the carcass. Mom was very stern, however, and they had no chance to share the spoils …

It was a spectacular scene to watch the constant activity. Unfortunately photography wasn’t great because of the terrain and vegetation, but we remained with them because being able to see five tigers in one scene was just amazing, and too good to leave.

Later, as the warmth of the day became rather uncomfortable, the male went into the gorge where he settled in one of the inviting pools of water. This delighted the cubs. They had a new playmate! But this was a very reluctant playmate and he growled and snarled as the cubs repeatedly harassed him. It was fabulous to watch, and we remained with them until the heat of the day forced the cats to retreat to the cooler shade of the deciduous forest.

A Blue Antelope with a small head and blueish stocky body is typical of India.

The Tiger is the National Animal, while the Peacock is the National Bird, and the Banyan Tree is the National Tree.

We spotted a very famous tiger from the Ranthambore Reserve.

This large male is rather unique because he raised two orphaned cubs. The mother was killed in a conflict with another tiger and the male adopted the two cubs and single-handedly and successfully raised the two. He is rarely seen. In fact he was last spotted almost five years ago by our guide, and although he is elderly now, he still appears to be healthy.

We saw another female tiger later. She was our seventh tiger of the tiger for the day, and tomorrow we hope that our incredible luck this far continues …