ATR - Day 28: Tiger sighting on the evening safari in Panna Tiger Reserve
We spent much of the day resting and editing videos for todays as well as forthcoming uploads under other segments. My first safari of this trip to Panna went reasonably well.
October 28, 2023
Saturday, 11:00 PM
Naahar Bagh Rajbagh,
As I was saying yesterday, the male tiger that we met yesterday as well as the day before is the son of Fireline tigress and R1 (also called Ra 1 or Raavan). R1 is a very famous tiger, a massive and imposing presence, and once he went all the way from Panna to Pench through the corridors, covering a whopping 350-plus kilometers. Obviously, he did not drive down or hire a vehicle or hitchhike. The people at Pench Tiger Reserve were startled and intrigued to suddenly find themselves in the dwarfing presence of a giant big cat. When the forest department circulated the pictures around to identify the tiger, which is they found it was none other than Panna’s R1.
The son of R1, the male tiger we have been seeing (the same who failed to hunt a deer down), is also a huge tiger and is also pretty bold. And although he is still young, his failure at hunting a deer left me a little puzzled, especially because he had closed in on the prey quite skillfully and yet he charged a little too soon, which was a bit odd for a tiger that good at stalking prey.
So I discussed my perplexity with Irshad, our accompanying naturalist and a longtime tiger tracker from Uttarakhand’s Corbett Tiger Reserve, and he seemed to agree with my theory that the tiger did not exactly want to hunt, which could be because it was not hungry and just wanted to playfully stalk the prey, more like a child splashing in a pool of water for no real purpose. Grown tigers don’t waste time and energy on such things but younger ones are known to give anything a run, including birds, just for the heck of it. So it’s possible that the R1’s son was not interested in bringing down a prey but was just being playful and was seriously trying to make a kill. Again, it’s just a theory because one could just as well say that there was nothing novel in chasing down deer. But then, the chase might have part of evening workout for the tiger. The point is, we don’t know for sure whether he failed or did not try hard enough in the first place.
We arrived in Panna yesterday (October 27, 2023), and today evening I went on my first safari of this trip to Panna, and the trend of sighting tigers continued though we sighted a tiger pretty late in the day, but it was a good sighting, and I got a few pictures of a female tiger sitting leisurely even though the light was pretty low and it was hard to click any decent pictures. But we went for the safari very late and spent much of the day resting and editing videos for today’s upload as well as forthcoming upload under other segments yet to be launched. We’ll most probably start from the first week of November.