Being a huge fan of the African bush, when the opportunity came along to get into Central India in the hope of spotting tigers, I was right there. And so I find myself in searing temperatures in the mid 40′s (centigrade that is), sitting in an open safari vehicle in Kahna National Park, long lens attached hoping to spot one of these elusive creatures. Tigers are solitary animals, with males commanding their territory and rarely coming out into the open, so when word got around that there had been a kill, our expert Tajsafari’s guide lost no time in getting to the site. We were rewarded with the sight on a young male tucking into the kill – a young bison that had been brought down earlier that day.
The bison are the kings of this particular jungle and it is rare to see a tiger kill one. Our guide correctly deduced that this male tiger was one of a family still together and it is likely that it took two or three of the family to bring the bison down. This particular family is also quite rare – it is a mother and four cubs, two male and two female, all of whom have survived to nearly a year old. A young litter of this size is difficult for the mother to protect, but she is an experienced mother and has clearly done a superb job!
As the young male fed, he was joined by one of his sisters and as they filled their bellies and wandered off to a nearby waterhole to drink, the second sister joined in the feast. We did not see mother – she had probably had her fill earlier and was resting up close by while her family ate, keeping a close eye on them and ready to protect them if necessary. At one point, another bison came onto the scene, clearly disturbed at the sight he saw and ready to take on the young male. He was angry, as well he might have been, and we watched quietly as the two had quite a stand off before the bison rightly decided that he was not going to take them on!
We returned the next morning to the same site, but this time, only the bare bones of the carcass remained – the tiger family had stripped it clean. At the neighbouring waterhole, three of the five tigers lazily wallowed in the water, full bellies and resting up as the heat of the day increased.
We felt truly honoured to have witnessed Mother Nature at her magnificent best. To learn more about tigers in India, call and speak to Jackie on 01323 446550 or emailJackie@experienceholidays.co.uk