After a very quiet afternoon safari, we were enjoying the sight of Langur antics in a nearby tree, and listening to the dwindling song of birds returning to their roosts. All of a sudden everything changed with the explosive alarm call of a Sambar Deer.
Anticipation mushroomed in our vehicle, and I redirected the jeep towards the source of the calls. This lead us to an area behind Andhakua patrol camp. We stopped there and waited. The deer soundings became more intense, along with the reliable alarm calls of the Langur. The calls seemed to be all aimed in our direction, and we frantically looked about us in all directions. One particular Langur then caught our attention, and we scanned the area where his stare was fixed, but still we had not a clue to any movement – except for that constant Langur’s coughing calls.
We decided to wait there patiently a little longer and sat listening, when a rustling sound of dry leaves grabbed our full attention. We pondered on what kind of big mammal could be walking in the undergrowth towards us – it could be Gaur, another Sambar. So we just stared at that patch of foliage – and waited for whatever it was to appear…. Moments later we all gasped as a huge yellowish, black stripped head emerged from the Bamboo thicket, and we all clamoured in controlled unison – “TIGER”.
A stunning, healthy female Tiger emerged out on to the road, stopped for few minutes, looked around, crossed the road – and, as usual, simply vanished back behind the veil of her jungle.
Tiger sightings are always matter of chance, and even searching for evidence of a tiger’s presence can be intensely dramatic – but please be respectfully patient.
Naturalist at Singinawa Jungle Lodge