“Oh, the tiger will love you. There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”
George Bernard Shaw
The recent Airtel initiative of “Only 1411 Tigers left in India” is an eye catcher. That’s the population of people in my colony. Would our children get to see this magnificent animal or would it be hard for them to believe that the animal that Durga (Hindu God of power) rides once prowled on this earth. Already 3 breeds of tigers Bali, Caspian, and Javan are extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction.
The surprising twist is that there are around 12,000 private pet Tigers in USA, because many states surprisingly don’t have a rule against keeping big cats. This started when zoo/circus owners started breeding tigers in captivity in a big way to ensure their supply of tigers, but ended up having more than they need, forcing them to sell cubs as pets for as low as $400 (Rs 20,000) at one point. Unfortunately even caring owners don’t realise the complexities on looking after a tiger, leading to their unhealthy state.
Ranthambore offers good chances of tiger spotting and I suggest anyone interested to try as many safaris as possible to ensure a good chance. Jeeps are better than canter bus, as they can move across rougher and steep slopes and offer better view, and cost Rs 2000 (around $40) per person per safari. Early morning safaris offer breath taking view amidst mist, where as the evening ones offer exclusive sunsets over a lake etc. You can stay at numerous cottages, around with price ranging from 1000 to 4000 ($20 – $100) per room. Of course other than the safari there is nothing else to do around, so a one night stay with 2 safaris included is usually good. You can reach Ranthambore via Jaipur by taxi which takes around 2 hours 30 mins. Best time to visit Ranthambore or any other wildlife sanctuary is during the peak summer when the tiger is forced to come to a water body (lake/river) during the day time.
You might want to check my older post of my first successful tiger safari at Ranthambore labelled “The stare of a Tiger”.