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Week One at Ranthambore

 

Ranthambore Tiger Reserve opened for visitors on October 1st after the closure of three months. Park was packed to capacity for the initial few days across all zones on account of the long weekend. The park looks lush green with thick undergrowth on the ground which restricts visibility, given the high day temperature they would burn out in a month or so. The water level in most of the areas is already at Feb- March levels given less than average rains this monsoon.

While opening safari on day 1 was all about glimpses as tourists saw T28, T39, cubs of Noor, the highlight being the presence of Queen Mother Machli.  T34 the resident male of zone 6 did continue his generousness with more than 30 minutes of sighting on day 1 though. As expected first family of Ranthambore continues to be the star attraction of Ranthambore. The family was sighted regularly around lakes obliging visitors. The cubs are now 20 months old and slowly on their way to independence in the coming months, playful bouts turning into fights of dominance. One such morning visitors witnessed 7 fight sequences in 3 hours.  Other prominent tigers which have been sighted are T73, T74, T75, T34, T8, T64, T57, T13.

 

 

Male cub of T39

      Safe with Mommy: Male cub of T39

T57- the young resident male of Guda, did try to make further inroads into Noor’s territory in zone 1 yesterday morning, he was sighted near Tapkan but was quickly chased away by his vigilant mother. The cubs were far away in Zone 2 while this drama unfolded. T57 was also sighted at Kala Pani Anicut on zone 6 around September end. Since scent marks get washed away during rains tigers do tend to stray into other territories.  T61- the resident female of zone 8 has given birth to 2 cubs which were sighted during monsoon by tourists once. I visited this zone towards the end of September & had seen pug-marks of these cubs around water bodies, their sightings should be frequent in the coming winters. Also, there has been unconfirmed news of T63- a female cub of T19 having given birth to cubs as she dragged a kill almost 1.5 km to hills near the Guda guard post. This would surely be good news for Zone 2 & Ranthambore as Machli's legacy would continue further at Ranthambore.

Overall, the park is all set for some great sightings in winter given lesser water levels.

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