It was the 13th of December, and we had nearly finished the safari in the Eastern Range, and were photographing the Black-Capped Kingfisher using the last of the light available, when our guide, Polash Bora, suddenly pricked up his ears. So did I, and I heard what he did...a lot of alarm calls. We slowly moved forward down the bank of the canal, and there, in the gloaming sat a fully-grown male tiger....
He did look a lot different from the other tigers I have seen in India (north India, mind you. The SIT does NOT exist until I sight one!)
What was fascinating was that when HE looked at the deer grazing off to his left, he assumed a skulking position. Here was a Crouching Tiger, and no, we did not see a Hidden Dragon:
He remained like that for a few minutes; I put down the camera and decided to just watch, as the light was very poor anyway. (Almost all my tiger sightings have been those of Dusky Tigers, no matter HOW orange they may have been!) We were hoping that we would be watching a hunt, and tried to contain our excitement.
But alas, our excitement contained itself quite quickly when, for some reason, he gave up the idea of a meal, and got up from his "let's have a look at the menu" pose:
And he wheeled around and walked away, melting noiselessly into the bushes:
This post is dedicated to anirudhc, and I hope he gets to see his first big cat soon!
The rest of the mammals and the wonderful birds of Kaziranga once I get back home....
Here's to all you LJ friends, who have been a great bunch, always; I have been very lucky in knowing many of you face to face, and here's wishing you all good health, happiness, and peace of mind in the year that's coming up!