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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trekking Tigers

Tracking tigers in the wild is most exciting and thrilling adventure but only for those who can take disappointment at times in a stride. It is an exhaustive exercise though sometimes the luck favors early.

Like all primary predators tiger leave telltale signs that may lead to the animal. The primary source is the alarm cries of the herbivores and birds who on sighting or scenting the tiger give a typical call. One should be able to make out the vocalization of the tiger. Other indications are the pug marks, excreta and territorial markings.

One needs trained eyes to see tiger which is always in excellent camouflage and of course sensitive ears to hear the alarm cries and tiger calls. Intuition sometimes works but once in blue moon. The reaction and behavioral pattern of the animals too indicates the presence of the Bengal tigers in the forests and grassland ecosystems.

In tiger reserves tracking tigers on the foot is not allowed one must track them while on a jeep which limits accessibility and makes the task more difficult. One must also understand bit of tiger biology and have complete understanding of the ecosystem as whole.

Understanding tiger movements and its habitual routine is also important in fact very important. Knowing the terrain is important as well. This is an exciting profession which requires years of experience. 

Silence is a golden rule. Sitting on the open jeep you can here sounds from far away to make out which animals is there. A cacophony of alarm cries means a predator is around. Leave for the spot at slow speed so that you do not disturb the animal..it will move towards the dense thickets.    
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