Watch as we embark on a safari of a lifetime and capture some scintillating moments.
MESSAGE: SAVE THE TIGER >> IT SAVES THE FOREST >> WHICH SAVES US HUMANS
I made this vlog/movie so that we could share the message and create awareness about the importance of this magnificent keystone species. Do take time out to visit one of many TIGER RESERVES in our country to get a first hand experience of how brittle the jungle’s ecological balance is and how we humans are damaging it. The tiger’s life is not all royal gameplay, it more of a losing fight for survival.
As I reached Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve after that long train journey, we hopped into our gypsy and went to the ticket counter. It was short ride from our resort. This place was surrounded by majestic trees that were probably around for a very long time. We made new friends and with our driver and guide seated in place we headed toward our zone which was called Magdhi. With one last verification at the entry gate we were set loose into the wild. As the fellow safari goer scanned the horizon for a photo opportunity. We noticed the forest guard at a distance was coming towards us on his bicycle. These foot soldiers of the forest are quick to identify the presence of the big cats. We were told that there were 2 tigers wandering nearby and there was high chance that one of the was lurking behind those bushes. Tigers are extremely possessive about their kill and we were in proximity to one. The sheer fact that one of them could simply explode out of the bushes was nerve rattling. Domestic cattle are not a typical part of their menu. Its only when a tiger is weak, old or unable to get its natural prey for loss of its habitat, would it long for an easy kill. Tigers will feed of the same carcass for a few days which mean they return to the same carcass again. This is where it becomes dangerous for them. Villages are known to poison the carcass in vengeance and poachers also take advantage of such situation. The tiger is keystone species and when a tiger dies it disrupts the ecological balance which has a rippled effect and is felt across species. The eerie silence of the jungle reminded me of the sign board we had seen outside the reserve. It said “you might not see me…. But I can see you”. We crossed path with another group and after a quick exchange of sighting information… we decided to move to another location on our route. While we waited with bated breath for the tiger to show up our guide Kanchhedilal told us about the secretive life of this majestic animal. Contrary to the usual belief, the tiger is a shy animal. To survive it requires extensive contiguous forests with perennial water sources and rather large prey base. Most Indian forests do not meet these criteria and hence have lost their tigers. Besides the tiger Bandhavgarh National Park is also home to the leopard, the wild dog and the famous wolf packs portrayed in Jungle Book. Infact these forests have 36 species of mammals and about 250 species of birds. The sun was about to set and just when we were thinking that we had exhausted all our options we saw the group gathered near the buffalo kill. We were all giving it our last shot for the evening. Tiger we wanted to see for so long vanished into the thickets before we could even take a picture of it. That’s how elusive and shy these animals are unless provoked by humans. For what happens next.. you need to watch the video.
Pic Credit: Vasundhara Dash – Instagram/vasudee
P.S – We are very proud that this is so unlike the how the tigers in China’s tiger farms are treated and subjected to the psychological torture by sending chasing drones into their territory.