Saturday, May 28, 2011

...Tigers, and Bear; Oh, My!

The Bengal tiger has been classified as endangered  by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A 2008 national tiger census report estimates only 1,411 adult tigers in India and fewer than 2,500 worldwide. The same census counted 31 adult tigers and 14 cubs in Ranthambhore National Park.  The tiger is the national animal of India.

We traveled to Ranthambhore specifically to view at least one tiger. We were graciously welcomed...
Our safari experience began with settling into our “tented safari camp” at The Oberoi Vanyavilas. Joan, from her backpacking days, knows tents and these are not tents. They are huge, beautiful, and elegantly appointed. Flat screen televisions, air-conditioning, mini-bar, raised glass bowl sinks, you name it. They are more like a small apartment missing only a kitchen.



We had arranged for seats on a six person gyspy (jeep) accompanied by Yadvendra Singh, an experienced and well regarded nature guide.

Yad, a bit Gruff but
the Best Guide in the Park

After a good night of sleep we arose and departed our safari camp at 6:00 am. The Park is approximately 10-15 minutes away. We had been told that morning drives had the greatest chance of seeing a tiger. On our first drive though we did not sight a tiger but we did see...

Sambar Deer

Spotted Deer

Unidentified Snake

However, that afternoon we saw our Royal Bengal Tiger:

Female in Wild Terrain

She is Finished
" Working It, Owning It, Loving It"

As well as:

Langur Monkeys

Monitor Lizard

After a bone-jarring day of riding a gypsy in obnoxiously hot temperatures we left the park having clicked a tiger and sighted (but not clicked) a rare black sloth was absolutely worth it!

Our Best Likeness of Sloth Bear - Unclicked
A repeat of our schedule the next morning had us in the Park at around 6:15 am.

Ready, Set, Go

This third drive had us seeing another tiger along with...

Look, She is Over There in the Water!!!

However the tiger was nearly 100 yards away cooling herself off in a pond which was inaccessible to vehicles.

Even Michael with His Monster Camera
Couldn't Click an Image

Joan however was able to click...
Our Best Likeness to Tiger II

It is not onlabout tigers and bears, oh my! We also saw a rolling wilderness of valleys and gorges scattered with small lakes;

and a seemingly endless network of dirt roads meandering through a rambling deciduous forest;        

and a dappled sky.

But there is more... the ever present and abundant animal life...

Adult Hyena


Additionally, Rathambhore is home to approximately 500 species of birds. The Slideshow of Birds of Ranthambhore (please click on link to the left to view slideshow) captures only 13 of them; however they are either beautiful, magnificant or both. We tried our best to properly identify each bird but may have made an error or errors in our attempts.

Back at the camp we enjoyed two very rare sightings...

Joan and the Two Ellie Sisters

Wasp on Our Back Porch

The wonders of Ranthambhore National Park, much like with the safaris in Botswana, have changed us. We understand that the magnificance and beauty of the animals can never be captured but only experienced in amazement. Botswana had the lion and the leopard...Ranthambhore had the ...

                                           The Tiger by William Blake

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


  1. I like your monkey disguises!

  2. PS - good job on the poem Dad.