Monday, February 24, 2014

‘Tiger Kill’ at Kanha

I feel lucky to have witnessed one of the rarest things happening in real. A few days ago we saw a tigress making a kill at Kanha Kanha National Park!

That morning started normally. I had taken off for safari with our guests from Kanha Earth Lodge, a specialty and luxury Resort in Kanha.  We were on our tiger hunt!! We had already crossed a patch from where a tigress had recently passed and we had missed her very closely. There were no alarm calls and the tigress had walked on the road a few minutes ago. I was a bit angry and frustrated about the situation that we had missed her so closely. Making some calculations to myself about where and how the tigress would show up next, we were crossing the meadows. Just then I noticed some fresh pugmarks! I and our guide both determined this time not to lose the tigress were taking a deep look through the jungles. A second later we heard a deep growling. The tigress was hiding in the thickets when she heard movement on the other side. Interestingly, we saw forest patrolling team with elephants which was on search for this particular female as she was missing since a few days. She was sick and was not seen around her cubs, which was dangerous for them.

And the game begins. We were all busy taking her photos as she was scent-marking on a tree. Suddenly, a fawn ran from bushes towards grasslands. This about-a-month-old baby spotted-deer was well camouflaged; neither we nor the tigress had noticed it. But I think the fawn’s fear instinct rode over when it could see its death standing nearby. It broke through the grass, so did the tigress. She chased it for around 50ft. The fawn tuned right sharply, that’s when she slammed her paw and took it down. Wow!!
All this drama was happening in front of our vehicles. Just realized once again how raw Mother Nature is. No place for emotions.  If you have to survive, you have to be the fittest, toughest, strongest. Another completely thrilling experience of my life!

Contribution & photo courtesy: Chinmay Deshpande