Hunt! 

What started as a regular game drive ( a safari ), became one of the most interesting and throughly exciting drive of this year so far. The zone we had was a good half hour drive through the dense jungles, intersecting through some beautiful woodlands with the light playing cupid between the kanha jungle and our love for her. We crossed meadows that looked golden in the morning sun with the grass gently blowing in the cold January wind, and across a pond that magically changes color as the sun goes higher during the day (the algae on the ponds surface change color from green to red : the sunlight triggering the change in colour).
We reached an intersection where there were visible signs right beside the road, of tiger movement (a wet patch indicating a sitting tiger, with pug marks of a male and female tiger). We went around the curve climbing a steep incline, only to be passed by a few safari vehicles who were in pursuit of the same two Tigers (probably mating ). We stopped silently contemplating our next move and decide to check on another intersection where a tigress and her Cubs had their territory.
We crossed a bridge which had the most riveting view of the still waters reflecting the majestic Sal trees.
And news of the tigress!
Alarm calls of the spotted deer from our right! Fifteen minutes passed with intense alarm calls, we decided to shift our position and move ahead about 200 mts, suddenly she appeared from the Lantana and came onto the road, and she looked like she was on a mission.
Not giving the vehicle more than a few seconds of attention she walked on leaving us trailing behind her, following her at a safe distance.
She looked thin, but definitely not weak! Her strides were fast and purposeful.
Suddenly onto the road appears a male sambar deer from the right, looks at the tigress and bolts to the left into the woodland, wasting no time the tigress immediately runs into the dense undergrowth cutting in not where the sambar did, but a little before.
With the sambar to the right now, she gave him one last look and disappeared towards his direction.
It’s wasn’t a long wait, probably just a few minutes but we watched and waited with anxious breaths, excited and expectant of what we expected to witness and she did not disappoint us.
Suddenly she struck with lightning fast accuracy and the sambar came crashing onto the forest floor, we could see the tigress pinning the sambar deer down in dense undergrowth, gripping him by his throat, his huge antlers thrashing about in the bushes. She was Successful!
She then started to drag the huge deer deeper into the woodland and out of our sight.
But the sambar was too big for her to be swift about it, she would stop after a few meters and we could hear her panting loudly. A little tired perhaps. Having witnessed an extraordinary tiger sighting, we decided to leave her in peace with her kill and move on.
Sadly hard pressed for time we drove on towards the exit of the park, but never the less totally stoked and buzzing with excitement at what had just happened.
We were amazed at what we had witnessed, because unlike the African experience in the Indian jungles to witness a successful hunt is a rare event.
It’s not just experiences like this but also because the KANHA jungles has this love affair with our hearts that make us realise how lucky we are, to live here surrounded by magic.
Until next time : peace and happiness to all!

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