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One of my favourite tiger sightings The sun was setting behind the clouds and the light was diminishing, it was time to head back. We reached a cross road, and paused to pick up a carelessly discarded plastic bottle in the middle of the road.  While the forest-department driver got out to pick up the litter, I joked with the others in the jeep that &ldquo;this is when I wouldn&rsquo;t like to see a tiger&rdquo;, prompting sniggers. The driver returned with a nonchalant smile on his face and mentioned in an off-hand way &ldquo;there is a tiger over there&rdquo;! Our first reaction was appreciating his sense of humour, but he was not kidding. Emerging from a bush a tiger strode into the clearing just opposite us. Goose-bumps rose on my arms as we watched the tiger saunter across the field in the eerie silence of the setting sun.<br />
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The scene is etched in my mind and still haunts me.  It wondered through patch of grassland, weaving between the trees until gradually disappearing into the thicket at the back. We were left breathless and in awe. 5D mkIII,Bandipur,Geotagged,India,Karnataka,Panthera tigris,Spring,Tiger Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

One of my favourite tiger sightings

The sun was setting behind the clouds and the light was diminishing, it was time to head back. We reached a cross road, and paused to pick up a carelessly discarded plastic bottle in the middle of the road. While the forest-department driver got out to pick up the litter, I joked with the others in the jeep that “this is when I wouldn’t like to see a tiger”, prompting sniggers. The driver returned with a nonchalant smile on his face and mentioned in an off-hand way “there is a tiger over there”! Our first reaction was appreciating his sense of humour, but he was not kidding. Emerging from a bush a tiger strode into the clearing just opposite us. Goose-bumps rose on my arms as we watched the tiger saunter across the field in the eerie silence of the setting sun.

The scene is etched in my mind and still haunts me. It wondered through patch of grassland, weaving between the trees until gradually disappearing into the thicket at the back. We were left breathless and in awe.

    comments (7)

  1. Fantastic, wonderful story behind the shot. Thanks for sharing! Posted 7 years ago
    1. My pleasure... This image was taken 5-10 mins after the bear incident (http://www.jungledragon.com/image/25768/indian_sloth_bear..._not_so_sloth-like_after_all_.html), and the story does not end here, although the photos do! :P

      ... First a bear and then a tiger!
      It was getting dark by the time we left the park and were heading back to the resort. We thought that we had reached the end of the day’s adventure, but this was not the case: the forest had one last treat in store for us! We left the core area of the reserve and whilst winding our way back through the narrow lanes a small group of spotted dear mulled around by the side of the road. We stopped and waited for them to cross but they did not move and stood attentive and quite. We waited in silence, pondering the deer’s strange behaviour, when a guttural roar pierced the silence. It was the mating call of a tiger, and it was close, very close! Seeing a tiger is exciting and awesome, a privilege I hope everyone can enjoy in life, but to hear a tiger, so close, in the dark without seeing it was absolutely out of the world. Fear invoked adrenaline coursed through my veins. We sat, the windows open, listening with bated breath. There it was again, but closer still! Again and again it roared, every time getting loader as it came nearer to our car. The tension was palpable as we made guesses to how close it was… 15 metres? 10 metres? 5 metres? We all sat there for about a quarter of an hour listening to the tiger’s ‘song’, until it eventually faded into the night, leaving the forest hushed once again.

      The next morning, we sat around reliving the excitement of the previous day. It was the first time I had seen a bear, and we lucky to have seen it for so long and so close. Jokingly, I mentioned how if we had only seen a leopard up a tree, I would have felt the trip was complete. Moments later, the phone rang, a leopard had been spotted near the entrance of the park. We jumped into the car and rushed to the spot to find, much to our astonishment and amusement a leopard sitting up a tree. The trip was complete and sadly over. We left the park but a piece of Bandipur will always stay with me. A piece of Bandipur that calls me in the night like the tiger, a piece of Bandipur that beckons!
      Posted 7 years ago
      1. What wonderful memories of a spectacular day! Posted 7 years ago
  2. Thanks for sharing your amazing photo's and stories. Would love to go back to Inda one day (was in West Bengal in 2009 for a month). Posted 7 years ago
    1. It's a fantastic place... don't neglect the south would be my advice! :) Posted 7 years ago
  3. Love the frame john! Posted 7 years ago
    1. Thanks... :) Posted 7 years ago

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The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.38 m over curves and weighing up to 388.7 kg in the wild. Its most recognisable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. The species is classified in the genus ''Panthera'' with the lion, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard. Tigers are apex predators, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and bovids. They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals,.. more

Similar species: Carnivorans
Species identified by JohnR
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By JohnR

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Uploaded Feb 1, 2015. Captured Apr 6, 2013 18:33 in Bandipur National Park, Nagapattinam - Coimbatore - Gundlupet Highway, Bandipur, Karnataka 571126, India.
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • f/2.8
  • 1/200s
  • ISO1600
  • 200mm