|Huge success!! After about 3 hours of patiently waiting and watching many other birds and animals, we saw our tiger. She is 21 months old and the only female in the litter of three, from Krishnaa, a female made famous by a National Geographic film called Tiger's Revenge. She is in Krishnaa's litter of 15th to 18th kits. We were assigned to section 4 of the Ranthambhore National Park, a random computerized system of assigning tourist groups to specific areas to reduce impact on the 55 tigers within the park. She is still mainly with her mother most of the time, but will leave within the next couple of months and go out to find her own territory. She has not yet been named, nor officially numbered, but our guide has a name that he calls her: Bunny-Tunny. Don't ask me why nor how he came up with that.
We managed to view her coming out of the tall grass by the edge of the water pond, looking across the lake towards us. She turned sideways, and walked about three yards, before heading back into the grass, towards a tree about 20 yards back. When she got there, she was in full view and backed herself up and sprayed her scent on the tree in a broad liquid spray. She then headed towards us again for several strides before becoming lost in the grass once more.
The safari truck moved along before stopping once again about 300 metres further. We sat and waited while 3 jeeps and 2 more trucks joined us, when all of a sudden, she appeared again out of the grass, once again heading in our direction. She found a spot to defecate in clear view on the far side of the lake. When finished, she kept walking, and by this time, she had come to the end of the lake, so meandered around the edge, across some marsh, and climbed the low slope, under the trees towards our vehicles. She paused. Rubbed her scent on one of the trees, and languidly sauntered along in front of our trucks for some time, before finding a great spot to lay down and rest.
We had a good 10 minutes of watching and photographing the young tigress. Some of the other creatures we saw were: wild boar, white spotted deer, sambar (the largest of the deer family, reminiscent but smaller than an elk), white ibis, black headed ibis, local tree pie (like a magpie but with a rather long tail, and lovely markings), rose necked green parrots, langur monkeys, crocodiles, grey tits, cormorants, a tawny headed serpent hawk, etc.
After our early 5:30 am wake up call, and four hours in the bumpy safari truck, we decided to decline the afternoon return trip to the park. The sun is very hot, there is no canopy so no shade on the truck, and Brian has come down with a cold, like the one I had for my week in Goa. We'll spend the afternoon napping, writing, reading, and possibly swimming instead
Tomorrow is a 6 am wake up for our bus ride to Agra. It will apparently take in two tourism stops but take close to 12 hours. We need to be in fine form.