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Tiger Sighting at Kanha National Park

Rare Behavioural Patterns

To have behavioural patterns an animal must move different parts of its body in a coordinated manner”
 
Which behavioural patterns do we think are the most interesting of all? In my opinion it is the breeding behavioural norms of all living creature that has turned our Planet into the vibrant, fascinating, living planet we have the opportunity of observing today.
 
One misty winter morning we were traversing Kanha’s winding routes during a safari – listening to all the collective sounds of the jungle. We halted near a large water body to watch all the winter visiting birds. We observed Pintails (winter visitors) paddling across the water, leaving arched ripples on its surface. After watching the fine plumage of these visiting ducks for some time, we drove a little ahead and suddenly spotted a large, fresh Tiger pug mark planted right on top of the previous vehicle’s tracks. Examining these for a few seconds, we realized the dominant male Tiger had very recently patrolled this particular area, but there had been no alarm calls, and no prey species had been seen at all.

An Evening Drive Into Kanha National Park

The temperature was pleasant  as we left for our afternoon drive. After the long wait for the season to start, I was quite excited.  I wasn’t very optimistic because  the monsoon had barely receded , and there were pools of water everywhere.  One of the water bodies is regularly frequented by a handsome young male and sensing the possibility of a sighting, our naturalist drove straight to it. Driving through Kanha’s verdant Sal forest, I was suddenly overwhelmed by nostalgia . I  began reflecting on my cherished memories of my first experience to Kanha with my husband, and all the subsequent visits …

It’s always a matter of chance

After a very quiet afternoon safari, we were enjoying the sight of Langur antics in a nearby tree, and listening to the dwindling song of birds returning to their roosts. All of a sudden everything changed with the explosive alarm call of a Sambar Deer.
 
Anticipation mushroomed in our vehicle, and I redirected the jeep towards the source of the calls. This lead us to an area behind Andhakua patrol camp. We stopped there and waited. The deer soundings became more intense, along with the reliable alarm calls of the Langur. The calls seemed to be all aimed in our direction, and we frantically looked about us in all directions. One particular Langur then caught our attention, and we scanned the area where his stare was fixed, but still we had not a clue to any movement – except for that constant Langur’s coughing calls.

A Sudden Twilight Encounter

What do we normally expect to see prior to a park safari? Obviously a big cat! But we rarely anticipate moments shared with one particular rare and elusive mammal – the Sloth Bear.
 
This evening gave us an opportunity of one such unpredictable sighting. The weather was pleasant and lighting just perfect to view all the aspects of Nature at her best. While enjoying this pleasant evening we reached an open area of grassland. Into our view came the rounded rear of a big Sloth Bear meandering along. We watched silently, and after a while he started digging the earth with his long claws, blowing away dust and debris to suck up a steady stream of white ants – vacuum cleaner fashion!

Mirror Image

We went for an evening drive, and although it was very hot we knew that this male tiger would be somewhere around the water hole.
 
We waited nearby for about 45 minutes, when suddenly we heard the eruption of a Barking Deer’s alarm call. With high voltage anticipation bubbling within our vehicle we all kept a careful watch in every direction. After a short while we heard sounds of the jungle’s dry leaves being crushed, and I said “Look, there is the Tiger appearing from the thickets near the water hole”.