Mihir Mahajan Wildlifer, entrepreneur, storyteller, specialist big cat tracker, Tiger safari mentor.| #safariwithmihir
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A territory in the making | KD male, Kanha.
The 2-year old male tiger recently separated from his mother, walks along the enchanting Sal-laden road that connects Kisli to Mukki. It was nearing dusk and the tiger emerged from the darkening shadows, where he was probably resting the whole day.
Flehmening almost continuously for over an hour, the young male, looking to make a mark and assert his dominance over one of Kisli's most prime areas, was wary of the presence of atleast one other male tiger.
He does look spirited and neatly built and the monsoons shall decide his fate.
I hope against hope, that like many promising young males who vanished in the dynamic and dangerous power struggle in these ancient woods, he does not.
October, as always, shall tell a lot.
A ‘solo’ flash of death | Bandhavgarh | Summer 2019.
At the crack of dawn, she struck! A flash of lightning and Solo was on top of the chital stag, who was grazing ever so merrily along with his flourishing harem in the great grasslands of Magadhi.
While it took her hunting skills in prime but a few seconds to execute the kill to perfection, dragging the seventy kilos plus stag almost a kilometer along the meadows and across the jungle track required massive efforts on her part!
At long last, she succeeded and got the kill to the cave, where she would soon be joined by her four little cubs.
What a sensational morning that was and what a brilliant huntress Solo is!
Two 3-month old tiny kittens run after each other as their mother, a certain tigress of iconic status, who’s given birth to an astounding 30 cubs till date, escorts them and two more of their siblings to a sambhar which she had just pulled down! Pench’s grandest landscape provided a fitting backdrop to the 8th family of this legendary mother.
Please suggest me an apt caption for this image, which is going to be the cover of a wildlife magazine soon. I shall feature the best caption. :) Also, no marks for guessing the mother’s name! 😍
Littlest one from Ranthambhore's first family | March 2019.
2006. A harsh Rajasthani summer. The ancient Fort, which has seen dynasties rise and perish, both of the human and animal kind, overlooked as the grand matriarch, Machali, gave birth to her fourth and final litter, consisting of the feisty T17, spirited T18, and shy T19. Years went by and T19 moved far away from the fabled lake area which was her home and successfully raised her first litter, miles away from public attention. But, as fate and circumstances dictated, Machali shifted, the indomitable T17 disappeared and T18 was relocated to Sariska thus leaving the breathtaking banks of the Rajbaag and beyond for her to reclaim. Krishna (T19) had finally arrived on the grandest of the stages, for it is here, on these crocodile infested banks, that Ranthambhore's loftiest tales have been written.
Krishna's rule had started, at the very place where many years earlier, her mother held sway with incomparable authority. In the spring of 2014, as summer beckoned, in a 4-cub litter to Krishna, was born Arrowhead, the gorgeous.
Arrowhead's story, like her mother's and grandmother's before hers, has started on these epochal banks of the Rajbaag and after vanquishing her mother and sister (Lightning) from the lakes forever, has made it her home. While her first litter perished to greater forces of nature, she is taking utmost care and precaution in raising the second.
Seen here is the 3 month-old future torchbearer of this most iconic of lineages, that of Machali, ruler of the lakes and tamer of males.
‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ This tiger is special to me. Right from when she was an infant and playing with her legendary mother, the Patiha female, in the great meadows at Magadhi, to today, when she is the undisputed Queen of Bandhavgarh's most fabled tiger country, she's come a long, long way.
Having lost an entire litter to a rampaging male recently and having had to fight atleast two different females, one of them who is her daughter, both vying for the iconic land that she rules, she’s having a hard time in those dark and dangerous woods!
While this fight for water, breeding grounds and ample prey shall continue as the monsoon rains lash hard on the Sal woods below, she shall continue to reign, for this is her kingdom and her time has not come yet.
The legend shall grow and the Sal woods at Andhyari will cry with baby sounds once again!
The winter shall be exciting!
Welcome to my grand theatre, the kingdom of dreams..
Where every single day, life fights death and hope challenges despair..
And in this battle that ebbs and flows across ages and millennia, stand tall a few actors worthy of an ode!
Be it the burning sun or be it the dark monsoon rain, the clever leopard always lurks slyly in the bush, for he fears the tiger and knows not to come in his way!
Be it the dreamy mist of the harsh winter’s morning or a parched and lifeless summer’s afternoon, the dhole always stays together, for it knows it is the pack or nothing.
Be it a high hill or a deep and dark vale, the (sloth) bear carries on with his doleful ways. But, threaten not the simple bear, for a cornered bear can defeat even the tiger without a care!
Be it the gorgeous dawn or the melancholic dusk, when hoots the Owl and cries the last Fowl, the tiger always grabs the spotlight, for it knows it is the true king and ruler of all that he surveys!
Welcome to my kingdom of dreams, where the four great foes live together to create the greatest theatre on the planet, my beautiful jungle!
Not a single deer grazed in the verdant meadows around the Tadoba lake, no sambhar browsed on the dew-laden foliage which the first rains gift the jungle with and all langur stay put on the high branches.
Tadoba lake wore a deserted look and we knew why!
On the second last bend before the lake waters lap into the shrine dedicated to the Tadoba deity, sat this young and handsome prince, the king-in-waiting!
We saw Solo just as we entered Sehra, sitting under an old Sal tree where she's spent many a hot summer's afternoon, just like her mother. Ever since she's taken over this prime territory after vanquishing her mother, Sehra has been her favourite hunting ground, for the chital and sambhar always abound in these grasslands, where food and water is plenty. She kept a keen watch on a chital herd which grazed nearby, for at sundown, she would go for one of them, having had no food in two days and with four young cubs to feed!
We waited and waited but nothing happened! Finally, a few minutes before dusk, she yawned and got up, her feline form gracing the meadow under the setting sun! Just as she was walking, something very unexpected happened! Without any indication, within a fraction of a second, she jumped fifteen feet on a nearby tree trying to catch a langur which was constantly cackling! The langur narrowly escaped but what a massive fright it must have been!
The one hundred and fifty kilogram tiger could move up no further, for these Big Cats are not meant to climb trees, owing to a large, bulky form and a short tail (unlike the leopard). The tiger clung on to the branches for a few seconds before leaping on the ground and continuing her evening activities.
That night, she did kill a chital, not one but two!
The legacy of Rajbehra is being kept alive and strong by this feisty tigress, the current Queen of the perennial grasslands at Sehra and beyond.