Camera, Sound, Light, Action…this is exactly how our #safari was scripted on 14th June 2015. We entered the #Mukki zone at 4pm, hoping to reach the bush where the #Tiger was supposedly sleeping in the morning. We reached the area, no luck, no alarm call, we moved on, and then our naturalist Naren spotted pug marks of a male Tiger, he said, Sir, Tiger has moved. The Forest guide alongside also saw the pugmarks, and said, Naren, move fast, Tiger is on the road. We moved a bit fast, and the moment we crossed the bend on the road we see a Tiger spray marking on a tree. Raju our Forest guide turned out to be our lucky charm is not something I would like to believe, because the moment he saw the pugmark he knew that it was absolutely fresh, and Tiger had moved only a few seconds before if not minutes. So, his exclamation, enthusiasm, and exact understanding of his job got us good results that day.
This particular Tiger was busy marking his territory and smelling the area when we took the opportunity and moved ahead of him on the road keeping a safe distance. Naren identified him as #Umarpani male, about 6-7 years old, a huge Tiger with an enormous face. Next 30 minutes were spent clicking almost 400 images, while the Tiger gave us all possible poses, he smelled, sprayed, flehmen, scratched the road, sat down to leave his scent, every possible pose that a photographer would want to have. The tele lens compels one to keep a distance from the Tigers, and thus we were perched in safe comforts of our Jeep, and the Tiger never felt uncomfortable either. It was about 30 minutes later, that I decided that we must let him go, and on the next turning we changed course, and the Tiger continued down the track. Intermission.
What happened next perhaps will be best described in the concluding Part 2 of this series.