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Tigers mating in Kanha Tiger Reserve

By Tamanud Mitra Date: 27 May 2017

The first tour to Kanha proved to be a grand success for team GoingWild. The land of hard ground Barasinghas, truly, bestowed its blessings on me. The tour commenced on the 27th of April and continued till the 30th of April, but I continued to stay at Kanha and further explore the alluring jungle till 3rd of May. In these seven days I saw four different tigers including a cub, but unfortunately that was all, not a single photograph of merit could be made till the morning of 3rd May.

Well, on the 30th April, reports said that a tiger and a tigress were spotted in the Kisli zone, they were most definitely in courtship and that they were seen in the meadow behind the Kisli rest house, but much to my dismay I was in Kanha zone and missed the whole sighting. However, I did not give in so easily and kept chasing the duo over the next couple of days, although I saw the couple multiple number of times but every time through dense foliage and during this whole time they mated many a time but always out of vision, so the sightings basically yielded no decent photograph.

I, a bit heartbroken, just had the morning safari of 3rd May at my disposal in Kanha for I had to leave for Bandhavgarh in the afternoon; with my safari booked in Kisli zone, I gave a final whole hearted try to capture the mating duo on  film, and as it is known to all that good things come to those who wait, early in the morning safari the couple was seen, just a few glimpses before both of them went off to take a nap and only a little part of the male was visible to me. There was pindrop silence all around, everyone was waiting for the tigers to wake up and come out in the open when suddenly the silence of the meadows was broken with the shrill alarm calls of Chitals and Sambars, I speculated, some other tiger was making an entry, in fact the other vehicles started dissipating but something in me commanded me to stay put at that very spot and I didn't move, seconds gave way to minutes, minutes to over an hour and by now the alarm calls had died down, the hot summer sun was slowly starting to gain strength. Due to the increasing heat the male moved a little, slowly he sat up, we were all ready by now to photograph the beast and it did yield some clear pictures, the first few photographs of tiger for team GoingWild from Kanha. The tigress also got up and slowly walked past the robust male and sat underneath a bamboo thicket, a small window of opening offered some photographic opportunity. The tiger joined her moments later and a few moments more, they started making love. As we all know tigers mate for a few seconds, it was over in a jiffy, but those few seconds were enough for me to click some decent photographs of the unique occurrence.

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