ATR - Day 27: Yesterday’s tale of two hunts by two different tigers; unusually good tiger sighting at Satpura; came to Panna in the evening
Yesterday, we saw one tiger succeed in a difficult hunt and the other fail in an easy one, owing entirely to the hunting skills of each, or maybe he was being a kid.
October 27, 2023
Friday, 11:00 PM
Naahar Bagh Rajbagh,
Starting where I left yesterday. The female tiger decided to pursue this herd of Indian bisons, and they pushed back on the attack. And to some extent the tiger retreated. However, encouraged by the success of pushing back a mighty carnivore, one of the more aggressive pressed things farther than necessary and chose not to quit while they were ahead, which infuriated the tiger. The angry tiger turned around and mounted a ferocious attack on the herd, killing one of them right there while others dispersed into the jungle. This was a quick and calculated attack aimed at making a swift kill. And since the tiger had rounded upon the heard that was smug in having chased the tiger away, they were taken by surprise and could not take defensive measures soon enough, resulting in the death of one of them. The surprise element, coupled with the brutality of the counterattack, scared the herd and the flight response took over, making the rest of them run to safety. So that was the success story of the sister. Yesterday, we also saw the brother try to fetch a meal for himself at a different place.
We found the brother relaxing, again, and he kept at it for a while, which gave us a good opportunity to click good pictures. But as long as the sun kept up, he did not seem to want anything but to cool his young paws. However, towards the evening, as the sun started going down and it got a bit cooler, the tiger got up and moved around a little. We followed at a distance. And then he spotted a bunch of deer and started stalking them quite skillfully while we waited for him to make a move and hunt masterfully. But when the time to strike came, he miserably failed to judge the right distance to charge successfully. Instead of getting close enough to make a short, successful charge, he dashed at them a little too early, exposing himself before he was close enough to make a kill. The deer made a dash for their lives, and the charge was unsuccessful mainly due to an unskilled pursuit even though he had stalked the prey well. The two most important weapons in the armoury of a hunter are patience and judgment. The brother seemed to lack both and the deer ran from the mortal threat as well as anybody running for their life would, human or beast.
So while sister won a lost battle against a bunch of mighty adversary due to her sheer grit, swiftness and quick thinking, the brother failed in a relatively easy hunt of a conventional prey, which couldn’t exactly put up much fight, because of massive misjudgment. Unless he was just trying his hands at new things just for the heck of it, like most kiddies do, which might explain what might not have been a failure.
Today, when we went for a safari in the morning in Satpura Tiger Reserve, we were very hopeful of sighting the tiger because yesterday the sister tiger had killed a bison, and we had been seeing the bro-sis tigers for the past couple of days. But we did not find any tigers for a long time despite lots and lots of pugmarks everywhere. We kept looking of them for hours fruitlessly.
Satpura Tiger Reserve, as I said earlier also, is not known for frequent tiger sightings, but this time around, we have seen tigers quite frequently here, particular that brother-sister duo I have been talking about so often lately.
However, after long a while we came across the brother tiger, and finally we also got to know his story. He is the offspring of the Fireline Tigress (just a way of referring to the female tiger we had come across on our last trip here) and R1, who is also referred to Ra 1 or Raavan, who is a huge tiger and is a legendary tiger in his own right. I’ll tell his story tomorrow. Wait for it.
After the morning safari, we left for Panna and arrived in the evening. As usual, we were editing the video for the evening upload throughout the drive and managed to have the upload in time today, which is always the highlight of any day.