Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 7: Tiger Spotting in Ranthambhore

There are 41 tigers living in the Ranthambhore National Park and Tiger Preserve (according to our park ranger), and we spotted two on our safaris through the park. We went out twice, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. We were lucky enough to spot a tiger each time.
The ranger told us Ranthambhore staff had recently given this tiger a lifetime achievement award. She's had seven cubs so far and each has lived. That's a remarkable mothering record, even for a tiger in the preserve. 
We toured the park in an open-top cantor vehicle. Both times the tigers strolled along less than 20 yards from us. You’d think they would shy away from the big jeeps full of people, but they could care less about us. They didn't even give us a glance. I guess a 550 lb predator isn’t scared of much.

The tigers are certainly the big draw for Ranthambhore safaris, but the park is full of other wildlife as well. Dozens of bird species, monkeys, sambars, mongoose, barking deer and crocodiles all made the safari a worthwhile excursion even if you didn’t see a tiger like we did.

Sanbar eat water plants in the drier months when there is less foliage. The building in background is now referred to as the Tiger Palace because the cats like to hang out there. Our ranger said you can often see them in the windows. 

Baby crocodile sunning himself on the large flat rock at the water's edge. 

1 comment:

David C. Burton said...

Ranthambhore really has tigers? We didn't see one. Were your safaris private or in a larger group? I'll bet it was the "boat" load of kids making noise that scared off any chance for us to see a tiger. How awesome!