Mission Madhuri and the lakeside encounter -Tadoba 8
Tiger Trails and Tall Tales – Episode Eight
Dressed to cover from head to toe in camouflage clothing, we looked like soldiers out at the front. Mission Madhuri was on. But the lady was no sambar, chital or barking deer to be seen at will. After all she was the queen of her realm. The four wheeler bumped along, raising heaps of orange brown dust. The hot winds and the brown dust covered the seats and the camera bags.
Meanwhile our driver was in constant touch with his mates in other vehicles who were passing by. Manish marshalled the jeep towards her regular haunts but we kept drawing blanks. We kept getting information of her being here, there but she continued to remain elusive like Baroness Orczy’s “Scarlet Pimpernel”.
News was received that the tigress was heading towards the lake. The jeep turned 180 degrees and was off like a rocket albeit horizontally at full throttle. We missed her crossing the road, disappearing into the tall grass on her way to the lake. Taking a detour to outrun her approach, we spotted one of the cubs following the mother. The cub too spotted our vehicle and quickly ran back into the undergrowth. A few minutes of patient wait did not elicit any movement.
With cameras ready and on shoot mode we followed Madhuri from a distance. Our hope was that she would take a sip or dip in the lake and we would get some dream shots of her against the setting sun. Alas, it was not to be. She moved towards the Devada zone and a jeep or two there, got some close ups and the best views.
We blessed their luck and felt a bit short changed for all our efforts. Nevertheless, felt contended, having had a nice long view of the magnificent tigress, one of the cubs and a few decent exposures.