Two cubs on play at Panna – a photo essay
Tiger is a solitary animal, it likes to be alone in its territory along with his female partners. Often tigers get injured, many times fatally in territorial fights. Even two brothers will search for different territories once they are adult enough to hunt and feed for themselves and hence eventually their mother will leave them. As I mentioned in my last post (Read: Returning to the tiger in Panna) I was fortunate to watch two cubs on play. Mother was around but we couldn’t see her as she was down in a nullah at a cooler place. Cubs don’t look like cubs as they were almost more than a year old, but were still with their mother. We and the few other tourist vehicles located this family on a grassland right on the banks of the Ken river. Ken river flows through Panna Tiger reserve.
So here are the two galleries of the cubs on play- one for each of them. Here is the first one-
This was the first cub. He then disappeared suddenly, presumably joined his mother in the gorge between two river islands. It was an anxious wait for the tourist to seem him or the other ones again-
Actually the tigers were quite far away from the place, where we were parked. We couldn’t have gone closer. I have not zoomed and cropped the images (although I could have) so as to give readers the perspective of the distance of the tigers despite capturing them from a 400mm telephoto lens. So after a long wait, another cub emerged from behind the bushes on the other side, almost invisible behind them. It was a delight to capture him in camera. See for yourself (you can miss him in first few shots because of the long dry grass. Remember my post: Spot the tiger in this wild image!)-
Its always thrill to watch big cats in the wild, but without disturbing them. Panna has a turnaround story of tiger conservation. But there are always dangers looming. Recently read a report that Madhya Pradesh has lost nearly 16 tigers, including seven in Pench reserve, due to poaching and others reasons in the last one year. As tourists, we also need to alert, alarmed, caring and careful. Lets enjoy more and more years of this lovely creation of nature.