The Lake Saga at Ranthambore
The lakes at Ranthambore have witnessed many things around them, some happy moments when small cubs play for hours on its banks without any fear in the presence of their mother, some spectacular ones like Ghenges Khan- a famous male hunting down sambhar deer in the broad day OR Machli’s legendary fight with the crocodile on its bank, some not so happy ones when the family starts separating from each other one by one and some even tragic. But life around lakes continues and they continue to be the seat of the first family of Ranthambore for obvious reasons.
This season is no different either, first family of Ranthambore Krishna & her 3 cubs-2 female and 1 male are soon going to part their ways in search of the land of their own and partners to carry the legacy forward. Both the girls have been showing signs of independence since their early days & Mom had a difficult task at hand to keep them away from fighting with each other. Popularly called Arrowhead or Machli Junior & Lightning aka Kankati have their respective fan clubs already with sharply divided opinions as to who would be the next icon for this legendary clan. On the looks of it both are pretty much serious about staking their claim for being next in line to the throne while the male cub still enjoys being mama’s boy.
Both the girls prefer to stay away from each other these days post frequent fights which resulted
in injury to arrowhead. Both of them are hanging around the lakes only whereas Mother Krishna spends most of her time alone away from lakes. While these are early days still to speculate who would drive whom out from lakes, the girls surely mean business and they continue to sharpen their hunting skills almost at every possible opportunity. In the last week or so have witnessed five such chases around lakes by these girls, though none was a success. But they are surely getting better with each experience I can say. Normally female cubs do occupy a small area from the mothers existing territory, so possibly the mother could accommodate one in her huge territory easily but the stakes are too higher with all three eyeing one area.
While we can debate about the result of this fight between mum and cubs over the claim for the lake area- the most expensive piece of wild real estate & we can put stakes on preferred ones only time would tell if history is repeated once again around lakes. And yes, like all such previous occasions, lakes would witness this all silently and the saga of this great clan of tigers would continue.