Sunday, May 27, 2018

Munna Returns!

After missing for some time we came across this magnificent beast who is a legend of Kanha National Park in India. We where actually searching for M1 the new male who is often seen in the area.     

A look down below the steep precipice resulted in a tiger being sighted. We did not know who it was but the subsequent roaring definitely suggested of Munna. We could see him well from all angles a tiny diminutive figure hardly suggested of a big cat but it was. I could then see it moving and as per our judgement we too moved forward and came to stop in front of the dry stream. In summers in Kanha most of the sources of  water come to an end but this rivulet contained a pool some distance away from where we were stationed. And it was at this pool that we saw the tiger. Expecting it to emerge at the dry portion of the stream we waited patiently. Since it was time for the Sun to set the likelihood was great.      

The beast did emerge roaring as he used to do in his heydays. He came close on to the dry stream and began scent marking before he sat down near the tree to eat sand. Tigers do this to make up for lack of minerals. 

Munna had a habit of repeating his moves and so we reached the same spot the other evening. We were not disappointed Munna tiger emerged from a pathway and came to a halt near our jeep. He looked much feebler than before and could walk a few step and rest. He was not active as usual and appeared hungry unable to make a kill perhaps. He moved some distance away roaring profusely and came to rest again. The male tiger continued to roar as he sat resting under the shade of a tree. 

We watched the magnificent creature emphatically perhaps saddened by his plight and aware that his time has come. Will we see him next season? Well you never know ageing Munna is capable of springing surprises thanks to his indomitable survival instinct.  

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