Spotting shy Sharmilee and her cubs -Tadoba 10
Tiger Trails and Tall Tales – Episode Ten
If the universe conspires, magic happens. You are rewarded beyond expectations. Choti Madhu wishing us good morning had already made our day. But the day had just begun. Hearing news that Sharmilee is holed up with kids in the thickets besides the lake, near an earlier buffalo kill, we turned our jeep. Reaching the spot, we found that half a dozen vehicles had preceded us and stationed themselves facing a clump of trees and shrubs at a distance. Jeeps were at vantage points awaiting the cats to come and eat the kill.
We moved a bit away from the crowd and placed our vehicle in good position for a clear view. We could see Sharmilee and her three cubs resting in the shade, but the sightings were blurred by the foliage. Hazy outlines and at times some clear forms of the cats could be seen. The wait started and it seemed an eternity. Then things started happening.
Sharmilee moved first towards the carcass and started feeding herself. Raising her head once a while, she posed for the dozens of cameras aimed to capture the scene. The cubs taking a cue, moved in one after another. There was some family bonding at the dining table. They dragged the carcass into the bushes and continued feasting. The cubs too posed for the camera. We managed some shots through the twigs and foliage. Not neat and crisp but good enough for us amateurs.
As we stood watching their actions, they moved into the denser woodlands. The jeep moved on towards the lake anticipating that they will head there in time to quench their thirst. But this did not happen.
What a start to the day. But more goodies were to come.