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Extended vacation or new landlords

The Lake area of Ranthambhore is smiling again & it has a reason too. It is all set to regain its lost glory, the glory of being the seat of the first family of Ranthambhore. The current queen T17 is raising her cubs far away from the palace, disappointing everyone. She isn’t likely to return anytime soon & thus the place which was once full of action wears a deserted look, hopefully not for very long. It just received new visitors/ potential residents.

One of the male cubs of T19

New visitor at Jogi Mahal- Image Desh Bandhu Vaid

Yours truly had some time back suggested putting Rajbagh on Rent to another tiger family. First to visit was Queen Mother Machli, her first visit ever since she was dethroned by her daughter T17. She spent a few days, reliving old memories. But since the forest department expressed their inability to serve her here, she decided to return to her old age home. It was a sheer delight to see her at the lakes & also made to think me about the timing of her visit, and what prompted her to visit the lakes now when T17 is not there. Some would say the absence of scent marks, but I would say the tiger's instinct is something which we still know very little about.

Now it is Machli’s timid daughter Unnis & her gang of three cubs at lakes. While Unnis did make some brief visits in the last few months, only after assessing the situation she decided to get her cubs here.  First visit of these cubs to lakes, where their mother spent her childhood under the watchful eyes of maternal grandmother Machli.

T19 with male cubs from first litter

This place is surely worth living: T19 & her male cubs

It initially looked like a 2nights-3days vacation package visit to the ancestral home but guess the family is all set to extend their stay here. With daddy T28 for company & 3 fully grown cubs to guard her against any ambush, T19 has nothing to worry about. She must be eyeing the idea of raising a new family around lakes & settling the cubs in her former territory. Wishful thinking :)Not sure if Aunt T17 would be pleased with these uninvited guests but as of now she is enjoying a stress-free life far away from lakes. Her new territory has everything she left- plenty of water for kids to play around, sufficient prey to kill & human presence for company.

Is it just an extended spring vacation for this family or Ranthambhore is witnessing the rise of its new first family? Not sure how things would eventually turn out but Lakes are gearing up for some action soon.

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