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Old 23rd December 2013, 15:12   #496
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Great snap there - the first one particularly.

There were reports that radio collared Tigers have a tendency not to mate. Collared tigers in Sariska are not bothered about collars it seems!!
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Old 23rd December 2013, 15:33   #497
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Thank you mowgli.

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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post

Great snap there - the first one particularly.
It is not true and there are no scientific evidence to back it. When the Cats mate, at climax the male grabs the female by the neck and then discharges. It was said that in collared females, due to the neck-strap, the male being unable to grab the neck properly couldn't discharge thus resulting in a non-pregnancy. It seemed believable also.

But the Cats themselves have disproved this theory. The famous Collarwali of Pench is a prime example. She delivered 5 cubs in 2011 and successfully raised them to adulthood and now this year too she has given birth to 4 cubs. She got her name due to the radio collar fitted to track her movments.

ST 2 the tigress from Sariska gave birth to two cubs in 2012 and is now again mating.

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There were reports that radio collared Tigers have a tendency not to mate. Collared tigers in Sariska are not bothered about collars it seems!!
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Old 23rd December 2013, 20:44   #498
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Please suggest a good route for bharatpur to gurgaon! Got totally bashed from alwar to bharatpur ! So need a saner return route

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Old 24th December 2013, 21:29   #499
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Bharatpur - Deeg (SH 44) - Kosi Kalan (NH 2) - Palwal - Sohna - Gurgaon.

Approx - 180 kms.

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Please suggest a good route for bharatpur to gurgaon! Got totally bashed from alwar to bharatpur ! So need a saner return route
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Old 25th December 2013, 21:38   #500
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

One of my photographs, taken at Sariska on 22nd Dec 2013, was published in a leading daily of Rajasthan.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-st6_st2.jpg
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Old 2nd January 2014, 21:47   #501
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

22nd December, 2013

My project was to end on 20th and it got extended by a week. It was stifling & maddening. I had to get out to unwind. Contacted a few friends to accompany. And I wanted to be driven.

Some declined at the last moment and by Saturday (21st) afternoon it was Roshun & I in his 4x4 Scorpio. In the evening I got a call from my friend - Anurag Sharma. Anurag is the co-owner of a travel organisation that specialises in Tiger Tourism called the Tigerwalah. He asked if a seat for him was available in my trip. I gladly told him that he was more than welcome. So now we were three.

L to R - Roshun, Anurag & I

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2566.jpg

And this was going to be my primary lens - Nikkor 300mm / f2.8

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-bazooka.jpg

The departure was as usual scheduled for 2:45/3 am and I slept after setting the alarm and organising my stuff & camera gear. For the first time it so happened that I did not hear the alarm. I woke up with a start at 2:40 and when I checked my mobile there was a message from Roshun sent 10 minutes ago that he would reach my place in 20 minutes. It meant that he would be reaching any moment. Immediately changed my clothes after brushing and skipped the shower. There was no time at all. I took the lift down and just made it in time. Roshun was parking his car.

Loaded my stuff and rushed to Vaatika City on Sohna Road to pick-up Anurag. He was ready and off we headed towards Sariska. The clock read 3:10 am. There was unusual heavy truck/trailer traffic on NH8 and no sooner we crossed the Manesar toll we hit a traffic jam near the McDonald's. It was a long long traffic jam. Nothing moved and the clock was ticking away. Bad start...

By the time the jam cleared and traffic moved it was 4:30. Normally we should have been cruising on the Bhiwadi - Alwar highway by now. I was apprehensive about making it to the Sariska reception before 7 am. Encountered heavy fog enroute and despite all this Roshun parked his truck at the reception at 6:50.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2134.jpg

The guides & drivers were warming themselves at a bonfire.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2123.jpg

The sight that greeted me at the reception surprised me. It was crowded and I had never seen so much rush. But that also made me very happy - Sariska was getting popular.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2133.jpg

This lone Macaque was looking for some tid-bits thrown by the tourists.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2131.jpg

Bad luck struck again; our jeep wouldn't start. The ignition system had got stuck and the key won't turn. It was very frustrating to see other vehicles leave for the forest. Many drivers tried their hand at starting but in vain. A cloth dipped in brake-oil was applied to the ignition and after several attempts the key turned and the engine fired....phew. The driver was instructed not to turn off the ignition but shut the engine by releasing the clutch with the gear engaged. And that's what our driver did throughout the morning safari.

Anurag kept on cheering all of us saying that after all these false starts we shall hit pay-dirt. And we did, but more about it later.

We entered the forest at 7:30 almost losing some valuable time and the information was that ST 6 (male) and ST 2 (female) were together for the last two days and mating near the Kaalighati rest house. Rushed straightaway there and saw this sight at the rest-house.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2129.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2127.jpg

The mating pair was behind this rest-house and was hardly visible. Only one jeep saw the hind of the Cats in a fleeting glance.

We staked-out and periodically every half-an-hour we heard the growling during the mating. We expected them to come out to drink water but it was not to be so. Even the DFO who was waiting there returned disappointed. He also had to go to supervise the tranquillising of ST 3 (female) for a her radio collar replacement.

Slowly all the other jeeps left and we were the last ones to leave at 10:30. So near and yet so far.

With the hope that they were bound to come out to drink water or to hunt in the evening, we left for Gulmohar Resorts to have breakfast and some rest.

to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 2nd January 2014 at 21:53.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 22:09   #502
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
ST 6, the dominant male of Sariska.


This pair was mating for the last three days and making lot of mating noises behind a thick outgrowth. Exhausted & tired, came out to drink water.

ST 2 in the foreground and ST 6 in the background.

The first one is a very nice capture.

Have you thought of going for the AF-S 80-400mm? A very nice lens from what I hear - and very handholdable. If I had budget for it I would buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 22:19   #503
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Thanks Nilanjan.

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

The first one is a very nice capture.
No, I've not. On my recent R'bhore trip a friend was using this lens. I tried it and it is a very handholdable lens and good too. But I generally prefer fast lenses; would rather scout for a decently used 200~400/f2.8.

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Have you thought of going for the AF-S 80-400mm? A very nice lens from what I hear - and very handholdable. If I had budget for it I would buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 00:07   #504
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

When in the morning the jeep dropped us near our car, Roshun took out a can of WD-40 and sprayed on the ignition slot in liberal quantity. Voila...the ignition came unstuck and became butter-smooth. Now we won't have a problem in the afternoon.

The cold foggy morning gave way to a mildly warm Sun that was very welcome. I was silently hoping for the Sun to shine brighter as that would result in the Cat coming out in the open and also the other fauna of Sariska.

Finished our brunch and reached the reception at 1:30 as we wanted to enter by 2 pm. Little did we know then that exciting action would happen and the whole show would last for 41 minutes. And the icing on the cake was apart from one forest department's jeep ours was the only tourist jeep to witness all of this. The other 19 jeeps and 4 canters were wandering elsewhere.

Drove straight to Kaalighati rest house in the hope that the pair was still around. But an eerie silence greeted us. The forester's jeep was also nowhere to be seen. We came back to the Kaalighati check-post to find out what the scene was and were told that the pair moved out and was seen heading towards a water-hole somewhere near Bhairon Ghati.

We took a short-cut through the Governor road and in a short while caught-up with the forest jeep. Kept on following slowly and then suddenly the tracker in the forest jeep animatedly pointed his finger to the extreme left.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2135.jpg

There amidst the grass was ST 6, slowly walking towards the water-hole that was some distance away. His direction indicated that he would come on the track soon. It was 2:24 pm then.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2141.jpg

This picture got shaken as somebody in the jeep shifted his position thus shaking the vehicle.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2147.jpg

He turns and looks at us in annoyance.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2156.jpg

The forest jeep was in front of us when ST 6 came on the track. They were blocking our view.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2161.jpg

We requested them in whispers to give way so that we too could get some good pictures. They barely obliged.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2195.jpg

Take a look at the size of the paw

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2204.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2213.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2227.jpg

Scent marking

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2232.jpg

All this while we were wondering where his mate was as she was nowhere to be seen. Did the mating got over and they separated? And then we heard this huge roar from above the hills - ST 2 was calling for her beau. ST 6 stopped in his tracks and then looked at the direction from where the call came.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2265.jpg

By this time the forest jeep again came in the front and made it difficult to take photographs. We all wanted a frontal view. We decided to cut across from a different route and approach the water-hole first and wait. If our anticipation & instinct proved right, then the Cat would emerge in front giving us a fantastic unhindered view.

We waited patiently at the water-hole and the Cat did not emerge. A lone Sambar called twice from the hill above and then fell silent. There were a few Sambars and some Spotted Deer at the water-hole and they were relaxed and drinking water. It seemed that they were unaware of the Cats's presence in the vicinity. I wondered what would happen if the Tiger suddenly arrived there.

Did ST 6 divert somewhere? We were getting fidgety and asked the driver to move ahead to see if the Tiger had diverted somewhere else. We had hardly moved a few meters that ST 6 emerged in front and walked towards the water-hole.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2269.jpg

He senses and sees the Sambars

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2277.jpg

Goes into a stalking mode

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2287.jpg

Then the Sambars saw him and in a panic ran giving loud alarm calls. Unfortunately, I couldn't click this scene as I was busy concentrating on the Tiger. I hope my other two friends have captured this scene.

ST 6 comes, crouches and starts drinking water looking straight ahead at us.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2345.jpg

And then his mate ST 2 emerges, comes near the water, crouches and nervously drinks.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2427.jpg

A wide-angle perspective that would indicate the distance that we were parked at.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2488.jpg

ST 6, who had by now sat down in the water, turns his head and looks at us as if saying - can't you leave us alone?

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2529.jpg

ST 2

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2538.jpg

She looks at us in anger

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2542.jpg

Resumes drinking while continuing to look at us

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Then ST 6 approaches as if to say - time to go

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2547.jpg

Obedient wife

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2548.jpg

And they both leave

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2555.jpg

We also decided to leave and not pursue them. We had our fill, actually not but enough was enough.

It was 3:15 pm and we slowly headed towards the exit. By 5 pm we were on our way back home. It was 9:30 pm when Roshun dropped me home after dropping Anurag.

Thus ended our very satisfying trip to Sariska.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 10:48   #505
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Wonderful set of pics.
The line of jeeps at reception reminds of Corbett.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 14:29   #506
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Thanks for breaking the tiger jinx for me GD. After many trips to various jungles all these years, this is the first time I saw a tiger, sorry TWO tigers, in the wild. And with a full 40 minute display, I managed to see these two from every possible angle. Got it all on video too. This was a fantastic trip. Look forward to more
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Old 3rd January 2014, 19:51   #507
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The pleasure was all mine. And I too look forward to more trips to the jungle with you & Anurag.

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Thanks for breaking the tiger jinx for me GD. After many trips to various jungles all these years, this is the first time I saw a tiger, sorry TWO tigers, in the wild. And with a full 40 minute display, I managed to see these two from every possible angle. Got it all on video too. This was a fantastic trip. Look forward to more
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Old 9th January 2014, 16:30   #508
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Thanks for sharing the pictures GD sir. It's time I headed back in that direction.
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Old 20th January 2014, 12:13   #509
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

A very shocking and disturbing news appeared in the papers on 18th Jan.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-sansarchand.jpg

Photo courtesy: Shri Dhirendra Godha
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Old 23rd January 2014, 21:35   #510
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Ever since the Park opened in October 2013, I've made six visits. While the months of October & November went Tigerless, since 22nd December Sariska has been very kind to me.

All my visits, including that of 22nd December, I've had the Big Cat sighting. The following travelogue is about one such visit.

5th January, 2014

Quite a few of my friends had been after me to accompany them to Sariska. My schedule being a punishing one, did not suit some. Vivek Rai and his friend Sachin agreed and they came to pick my wife & I in their Honda at 2:45 am.

The weather was not looking too good with the fog settling down fast. No sooner did we cross Manesar on NH8, we encountered fog that became denser & denser as we proceeded. Vivek was at the wheels and he cautiously & expertly moved on. Inspite of all this caution we almost bumped into a tractor trailer near Tijara that was laden with logs and had no tail lights or blinkers. Phew...!

With I navigating from the back-seat, managed to reach the Kushalgarh Tiraha by 6 am and after having a refreshing cup of tea were at the Sariska reception by 6:50 am. It was quite foggy and all hopes of having a sighting were dashed.

In battle gear

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-3279.jpg

Vivek, I & my wife

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-3293.jpg

Sachin, Vivek & my wife

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-2986.jpg

Sachin, Vivek & I

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-83.jpg

Harisingh was ready with the necessary documents & the jeep and we left for the jungle. The reports at the entrance gate about Tiger movement was also not very encouraging.

Discussing...

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-80.jpg

to be continued.../-
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