Shh… Tiger is here!

Its International Tiger Day and tigers are all over in the news for last few days. From missing of tiger Jai in Maharashtra’s Umred Karhandla wildlife sanctuary to debate of inflated tiger count in India’s tiger reserves… but for the tiger lovers, there is nothing like a good sighting of a tiger in the wild. But there are times when in wild you know that tiger is there around you but you are not able to see it. Those are the very thrilling but also very frustrating moments.

A look at such moments, when tiger sighting ends in agonising wait or… extraordinary thrill.

With a pug mark so fresh… you know you have missed the tiger just by… but then who know that. He or she might be still around, watching you!

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When, all you have to remain contented with is these marks on the trees. These scratches might not make any sense to us, but are a clear-cut signal to the other tigers. A tiger scratches the trees to mark its territory, so that no other tiger trespasses. Well, when marks are there, tiger must be somewhere around. Isn’t it!

When, you are sure its around. Even the call is there for all to listen but the big cat is still elusive or just playing games with the tourists. Foresters, the guides and the so-called experts… all can sense them, but they are equally nervous as the tourists as the tiger plays truant.

At times, you might even have an unmistakable glimpse from behind the woods, but that might not satisfy your appetite. Will it!

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But whenever it enters a scene, it enters like a bollywood hero with a round of cheers and applause around.

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In the ensuing enthusiasm the novices might miss the view but how can the seasoned ones miss the stripes behind the bushes!

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And, finally when it comes, it makes its mark, literally. Man would not like to see a fellow human being in this act, but photographers will never like to miss the shot in wild- a tiger making marking. It is another of tiger’s way to mark its territory, dare you not cross the line!!

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And, when he is marking, a human trespass can be very dangerous. But here is a lucky escape though.

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He finishes, turns back to give a glance and smiles on his own magnanimity.

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Looks ferocious but don’t worry, its dead and dead long ago, when tigers were not meant for conservation, but for hunting of royalty. Thrill to see stuffed tigers for those, who can’t see the real ones!

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But few people have penchant to capture the real in fine lines. Might look like photos to some, but they are the paintings and are realistic paintings. Realistic in the sense, that the painted ones are not just any tiger, but real tigers inside the park and you can even match the stripes, birth marks. Hats off to the art!!

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