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Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve-June 2008

On 7 June I returned to Ranthambhore and during the morning on my first safari I was fortunate to find one of the three sub-adult cubs living in Kachida Valley.  It was a young male tiger cooling himself in the same pool where I had seen him last April with his mother and two other siblings.  The following day was spent at the Ranthambhore lakes where I was able to photograph one of the three female cubs born to 'Machali' about two years ago.  The young tigress looked so well and strong and is now capable of making her own kills without constanly relying on her mother.  During my time spent in the reserve I was able to see this young female on a number of occasions.  As always when I visit the park I look forward to seeing 'Machali' but it was not until 15 June that she made an appearance at the entrance to Kachida Valley where she walked close to my jeep before settling for a few minutes in a nearby water pool giving her some respite from the heat of the sun.  She is now about twelve years old and with only one canine tooth remaining. However, she is a very experienced and resourceful tigress and I hope that she will survive for some time to come before her home range is taken over by another tigress which, in all probability, will be one of her daughters.  Unfortunately, the monsoon began two weeks earlier than usual this year which meant that towards the end of my stay the tigers became increasingly difficult to find - during the monsoon season they usually move to higher ground along with deer and other prey species.  On my last day at Ranthambhore I enjoyed watching 'Machali' and one of her sub-adult cubs walking together in the forest; after a while they found a pool from which to drink, then settled down to rest and groom.  Photographs from my June visit to Ranthambhore can be found by following this "link" to the picture gallery section of "tigersintheforest".