Saturday, March 9, 2013

My First Wild Tiger

 My first wildlife destination in India was Jim Corbett National Park.  Though there are tigers there, it is supposed to be hard to see them, especially in February, when the grass is quite tall.  My first game drive in India I went to Bijani gate in Jim Corbett, and towards the end of the drive, when time was very short, my guide found a tiger just as he was walking into the bushes.  We waited a few minutes to see if he'd emerge but he didn't - we had to go as we had to check out of the park by closing time.  I had a moment to get a few photos, but admittedly they were not good and the visibility of the tiger was not great.  This photo best captures what I was able to see with the naked eye.  There is a gorgeous orange male tiger peeking out from the bushes.  It's not a great sighting, but it was very exciting and memorable because it was the first one.  The fact that I knew there was a tiger in the bush even though I couldn't see more of him was really awesome.  Spotting credit goes fully to my guide, whose name I do not know how to spell - guessing Nearinkar.

Though the park was beautiful, and the scenery stunning, it was in fact quite hard to see animals here due to high grass and thick forest.  If I visit again I would aim for late March or April, when herds of elephant gather and it is easier to see tigers.  We did see many tracks and fresh scat, and we heard alarm calls, and waited ages in various locations for a tiger to emerge - but I never saw another one in Jim Corbett.

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