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Ranthambhore and Corbett Tiger Reserves-April / May 2008

I returned to India on the 22 April visiting Ranthambhore and Corbett National Parks.  At Ranthambhore I was very pleased to catch up with Machali, the tigress, whose life I have been following for a number of years.  Last June I saw her with three nine month old female cubs and I am happy to report that now being approximately twenty months old they are well and strong and beginning to become a little independent of their mother.  On one occasion at Nalghati, Machali and two of the cubs appeared together while the third cub watched from a rocky outcrop above - Machali clearly wanted to rest away from her family and growled loudly at them whenever they approached her!  She has also lost another canine tooth, this leaves one remaining.  It seems that this has not prevented the experienced tigress from successful hunting and providing food for her offspring. I was also able to find the 'Kachida' family; a mother together with her three large sub adult tigers (two male and a female) - these are approximately twenty-four months old.  They spent time in a pool cooling off and grooming each other before two of them decided to climb the branches of a small tree.  I watched with great interest for it was the first time I had seen tigers trying to balance themselves together in a tree!  The last day at Ranthambhore was spent photographing two of Machali's cubs at 'Jalhra' close to the park's entrance gate!