Unlike monuments & historical sights that are almost inviting you to drop by for a glimpse, the animal kingdom pretty much does the opposite. Well they like their privacy especially the wild ones, unless you make an offer to be their next meal. I had little issues sighting the vegetarians & the benign ones. But try getting a view of raptors or the big cats especially the tiger and often there is a blank space in the wildlife photo album.
LUCKY ME ON THE LAST DAY, LAST HOUR, LAST SAFARI ~ MY WOW WILDLIFE MOMENT
I think what made it dramatic was the timing of the sighting. This was my 1st trip into the wild. In fact I’d chosen Kabini, Karnataka (Nagarhole Tiger Reserve) as I’d heard it was the perfect month and place to meet tigers. I was 5 safaris down, had seen some amazing flora & fauna…learned so much about the jungles. About the sounds and how to respect them all. But the tiger was elusive.
Till a fellow photographer from the corner of his eye felt a movement as the jeep was heading back to base. Why is a tiger so gorgeous to look at, I always wondered? I stopped asking such stupid questions when I saw this one. Even while seated he was massive and I didn’t realize then, but in my excitement I was on the edge of the jeep window. All I had to do was topple over and in less than a fraction of a second, I could have been quite up close & personal with the tiger. He was 20 ft away from the jeep, but as we all know these magnificent graceful animals move at lightning speed.
The glistening orange skin, piercing eyes, an injury on the face from a past territorial clash, the indifferent look…well all of it added to the memory. Once I saw him I almost concluded that a quiet stealthy tiger is infinitely more dangerous than a growling one.
Truth be told, I love pleasant surprises. I totally love getting lucky too. And I love a dash of attitude.
So here is my unforgettable moment of the trip. My Pebblewalks photo story ~ India’s National Animal, the Tiger.
(Tiger sighting on the last day, last hour, last safari at Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India)