The pugmarks elated me. "We are going to see a tiger," I told Chriesty a tourist from Indiana State of USA. She had earlier missed sighting a tigress we had encountered in Kanha. We moved on excited by the prospects of sighting a big male as I made it out from the pugmarks.
Sure he was there on the road looking at us with some expectation. Though a little less in dimensions than Munna tiger he was nevertheless impressive. I had encountered this male on Kanha Ghat some years back. He trudged along quite oblivious of us but nevertheless keeping an eye on us.
Our dear American friend was excited beyond belief as she continuously worked upon her camera. The big cat trudged along for about half an hour with many jeeps now following him. We kept a safe distance as he was in no mood to be threatened by us or other jeeps. Though quite tolerant these big cats can charge if the vehicle comes very close. These charges are mock but who likes to take such a chance.
Kankata moves along the Kisli Zone to Mukki partially and can sometimes be seen on Kanha Ghat. He is not very visible these days and keeps more to inaccesisble parts of Kanha National Park. He is the one who killed a male frequenting the precincts of Courtyard House where I work as nature/birding guide as freelancer. The collar around his neck was in an awkward position but he showed no signs of discomfort.
After a long distance of tension ridden but exciting walk the tiger vanished into the forests before the fire line that leads to Mukki Zone. Many jeeps arrived by then, but unfortunately they missed the grand spectacle.
Our guest thrilled to bones was very happy satisfied that she had seen a tiger in the wild. Kanha National Park is one of the finest forests in India for sighting big cats.
|Male Tiger by Ruchi Patel|