Imagine what it would be like to visit your favourite supermarket to get you favorite foods only to find it open 5-10% of the time. It would be infuriating…well this exactly what tigers experience on a daily basis…
A tiger has to work incredibly hard not only to earn its meal but also keep it from getting stolen by other devious predators.
The Royal Bengal Tiger, is only successful 5 to 10% of the time while hunting.
We recently had the opportunity to witness this struggle a tiger faces of trying to make a kill.
It was a warm summer morning, and as we were driving through Kanha National Park, we discovered a stunning tigress sitting by the side of the road looking straight at us. It was truly a magical moment, seeing her, as the beautiful rays of the rising sun gradually highlighted her deep orange coat. We were informed that this tigress, had given birth, not so long ago.
As we observed her unperturbedly, she suddenly stood up. So, we slowly backed up our car and created a heathy distance between us and her. She gradually, walked towards our car, continuously pausing and looking at something in the thicket. We assumed that her little cubs would join her, but instead, we were in store for something else; something, which anyone who visits the jungle dreams of seeing and only the few are lucky – “THE HUNT”
As soon as the tigress heard the rustling of the leaves , she went into stealth mode. It is indescribable, how in a few seconds, the tigress went from a casual walk to the brilliant hunters, that all big cats are. She crouched down, lying flat on her belly, keeping absolutely still, and quiet. As we still struggled to find, what she was attempting to catch, her keen cat eyes had already locked its’ target deep inside the bush.
As we waited patiently and quietly with our cameras ready, she leapt without warning and disappeared into the bushes like a flash of lightning. The jungle suddenly came alive with the deafening sounds of the alarm calls of the Spotted Deer and the Sambar Deer. We feared at that moment, that, her cover was blown and she had lost her chance. Not being able to spot her for a few minutes, we were still hopeful that, just maybe she had managed to make a kill. Our fear was soon confirmed as she emerged from the bushes looking tired and defeated.
Even though, it broke our hearts to watch her walk away empty – handed after trying so tirelessly to feed her cubs, we learnt that this is the way of the jungle and even the most powerful predators fail more often than not.
Watch this video to see the tigress try hard to procure a meal