We enter the forest gate at 4pm and in about 5 mins your vehicle breaks down, how does one react? This can be very frustrating, annoying since one does wait for few hours post lunch to get into the forest ASAP to spot animals, especially everyone is keen to see a tiger or a leopard. And I had a bunch of youngsters who traveled all the way from Mumbai.
However the reaction in my vehicle was “Thank God”, Wow! That’s great! and so on. Everyone seemed smiling and happy to be seated in the broken down vehicle as long as possible. Wondering why? A huge male tiger was right in front of us probably about 20-25 meters, but he was fast asleep. Our driver had no choice but to open the bonnet to check the problem, he tried hard but couldn’t fix it. The tiger despite our driver making so much noise during his attempt to fix the jeep never woke up; probably he had a heavy meal and continued to sleep.
The driver then informed the JLR camp and we heard that the mechanic will be here in about 20-25 mins, in the meantime I could see some movement in the tiger especially the tail swirling to shoo away the flies and I sensed that it was time for him to wake up. Then there was no stopping on our shutters, the tiger woke up and it was amazing to capture all the possible natural behavior like yawing, growling, licking paws and so on…
In the meantime the breakdown service vehicle arrived and our jeep was fixed in no time, the mechanics too seemed very excited to see the tiger. No wonder Tigers are God’s most beautiful creation on Earth.
Camera - Canon 5D Mark III, Canon f4 500mm lens
EXIF - ISO 800 Av 4 Tv 1/200 sec EC +0.3, cropped
Location - Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarahole, Kabini