“Hey, you know what – choti mada has started showing up with her cubs. They are around a month old”
off goes my WhatsApp message to some of the friends along with a picture of gorgeous female tigress with 3 cute tiny cubs – one trying to climb her back and 2 others trying to figure out the best possible pose to drink water.
Quick comes the reply “I heard Mahaveer female has delivered her new litter back in December, but no news of her sightings. Hope she starts showing up too.”
Another reply pops up with a heart melting video of a magnificent tigress Junabai with her 4 cute cubs enjoying bath in an artificial water body.
Some other friend quickly adds me to another wildlife enthusiast group on Facebook. I too start browsing it for the recent sighting updates without wasting a minute and come across a photography contest going on, in it. I dig my ‘Google photos’ reserves for the tiger images I clicked in the past, tweak some images here and there and post them off.
This is how the summer typically kicks off for me now-a-days. If someone happens to check my WhatsApp history and Facebook activity for April they are sure to certify me “crazy” and I don’t deny the fact that they would be 100% correct. I did really have whirlwind romance with these beautiful forests and my “craze” for them has surely stood the test of time.
As the summer starts ticking in, enthusiasm of going to forest starts taking over. Scorching heat makes the animals come out looking for water which increases the probability of sighting, not only tigers but also leopards, bears, jackals, deer, wild dogs, elephants and many more animals.
The bookings are all ready by this time as they open 3 months in advance and usually get full the very day they open. This does signify that I am not the only crazy one around. Yes this beautiful flora and fauna have several fans all around the world and they don’t fail to make umpteen visits to the forest to witness it’s beauty.
So, I have two trips (5 forest rounds each) planned to 2 different forests in central India – one at the end of this month and another in mid-June. The shopping/renting of the photography gear is in full swing. Keeping track of the recent sightings will continue.
Looking forward to some of the best sightings and then I am sure I will have a lot to prattle on, after I am back.