The renowned National Parks of India which are scattered through the vast country attract a host of wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. Being the wild habitat of the Big Cats, people travel from around the globe to witness these spectacular animals.
Sally and Richard were drawn by the same allure during their visit to the Singhinawa Lodge. We left in the early hours for our morning game drive in the Mukki Zone of the Kanha National Park. While exploring the zone for the majestic tiger, we came upon a host of birds that caught our attention. Nonetheless, the tiger didnt make it appearance and around 8:30 am we decided to go for breakfast and restart our quest after our morning meal.
As luck would have it, as we were settling for breakfast, a park guide alerted us to the sighting of a tigress in a nearby area. The possibility of a sighting got the group excited and we promptly decided to halt the meal preparation, fold our tables and get back on the trail.
When we reached the designated spot of the sighting, another vehicle welcomed us- they were waiting for the same experience. We decided to move our vehicle further ahead and lo behold, around 100 meters ahead the tigress was walking in front of us.
The sheer excitement of seeing this majestic animal got the whole group excited, the wonder of the experience was palpable. As we continued to watch, the tigress stopped and slowly went inside the bamboo thickets. Within a fraction of a second she stepped further inside the bushes and we heard the sound of a kill.
On moving the vehicle further we saw the tigress holding a spotted deer faun in her mouth. The excitement of seeing this episode in the wild right in front of their eyes stunned the group and everything watched with rapt attention. Finally the tigress turned towards us and was now facing the group, giving her audience the opportunity to take pictures and videos of this raw moment in the wilderness.
This memorable sighting is etched in the minds of my companions and I, as none of us had witnessed a tiger kill in real time before. Hilariously the unanimous verdict of the group was “it was worth skipping the breakfast”. We finally went back to have breakfast where we shared our thoughts on this ‘once is a lifetime’ kind of experience. We thanked the park guide for alerting us about the sighting and for having this memorable experience at Kanha that would stay with us all for the years to come.
Sachin Sharma, Naturalist
Singinawa Jungle Lodge.