Battle Of The Apex Predators

The morning was exceptionally hot. After finishing our breakfast, we were meandering through the forest, hoping to sight a Tiger or any other interesting wildlife. We had not seen much in the morning, and so our morale were down.

We got a tip about a sighting of a pack of Dholes (or Asiatic Wild Dogs) and we decided to head in the direction. By the time we reached the spot, we could only see two or three of the dogs, jumping in their typical bouncing manner, in the tall grass. The rest of the pack, we figured, had already moved through the grassland into the wooded area of the forest. The dogs seemed to be in a playful mood as they made their way through the grassland.


All of a sudden, we heard a loud, shrilling scream, made by one of the dogs. Out of nowhere, a huge male Tiger appeared and was moving through the short grasses. The Tiger was probably resting at a waterhole at the edge of the grassland and came out to investigate. The Tiger was a big threat to the dogs, especially because the pack also consisted of pups. Eventually, four dogs started circling the Tiger, whistling and jumping all the time. This probably gave time for some of the remaining pack members to take the pups to safety.


The Tiger tried to chase the wild dogs away, but the dogs were persistent, In fact, there were times when the Tiger had to evade the dogs which kept on coming closer to him, probably to bite him and scare him away. The Tiger started moving in the direction where the remaining pack members and the pups had gone, and the dogs present at the scene followed him. Now in the dense Saal forest, we were not able to see any of the animals, but we constantly kept on hearing the shrill whistles of the dogs.


After a few moments, the pack of dogs, all the adults followed by the pups, crossed the road in front of our vehicle. But to their horror, the Tiger, too, followed them across the road. We went around to see if the dogs and the Tiger come out on the other side of the forested patch. The wait was a long one, and there was silence in the forest. Eventually the Tiger came out, but there was no sign of the dogs. We were running out of time as we had to come out of the forest at a particular time. So we decided to head towards the park gate, hoping that the wild dogs were all safe.

Sachin Sharma
Naturalist, Singinawa Jungle Lodge

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