In Search of Bengal Tigers and Indian Wildlife

Mone Petsod

11 Mar 2019

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NWS client Mone heads into the wilderness

Giant paw prints on the road set my heart racing. The sudden silence made me even more nervous. As I was staring beyond the front of the vehicle with anticipation, our guide said, “Look here, here, right here! A tiger is coming!”

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Suddenly through the dense brushwood less than twenty metres to the right, a magnificent creature with quiet footsteps comes out of the forest. A giant cat in a tawny coat with black stripes, a fearsome head, sharp teeth, and a long tail slowly crosses the dirt road in front of our vehicle. A tiger! This is what I have come to India to see!

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Early one morning, I heard an exclamation from my safari companions who were watching the road behind the vehicle. A black leopard had dashed across the road. I whipped my head around only to catch a glimpse of a long, black tail.

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Late one afternoon as we were making our way back to the park gate, a spotted deer fawn suddenly rushed across the road with a jackal in hot pursuit. When the jackal stopped, I thought he had given up the hunt, but another jackal appeared from behind a rock and chased after the fawn.

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Breathtaking moments like these repeated themselves again and again as our vehicle rattled along the winding, dusty, bumpy roads in the tiger reserves of Kanha, Pench and Tadoba in central India

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Along the way, marvellous sights and sounds greeted us: spotted deer, sambar deer, swamp deer, langurs, macaques, gaurs, crocodiles, wild boars, sloth bears and more birds than I could count, including eagles, vultures, cranes, lapwings, peacocks, junglefowls and Indian rollers.

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I initially thought one trip would be enough to get my fill of Indian wildlife, but I am already looking forward to another trip to this fascinating country.

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