MAYA AND a tiger's first kill

All Photos and story: Himanshu Badge, a local naturalist and guide.
For more information about Himanshu, see our next update.

“The impact of an attacking tiger can be compared to that of a piano falling on you from a second story window. But unlike the piano, the tiger is designed to do this, and the impact is only the beginning.” – John Vaillant

The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). Maya: The future Empress of Tadoba. 
      Naturalist and guide Himanshu’s experience led him late afternoon to where a tigress and her cubs often took refuge from the 45degree heat in a watering hole.  Today, only Maya, a tigress barely 18 months old, was alone as a mature wild boar approached; the outcome was not certain.

Maya lodged a frontal attack and then struggled for almost 3 hours as the boar used his brute strength to try to save himself, whereas the adolescent tigress was unsure how to make the final kill.

Top: Maya waits in the water hole, ready to pounce.
Above: A blur of speed as she makes her move.

Right: Subduing the large boar,  jumping on its back.

Below: Unsure how to make the final kill.

This was to be survival of the fittest, where a new generation of carnivore was ready to stamp their authority. Today, this young tigress cub is able to hunt on her own.

All Photos and story: Himanshu Badge, a local naturalist and guide. For more information about Himanshu, see our next update.

Himanshu took away a a great reminder and lesson from this encounter: “We must never interfere in nature’s balance as nature is capable of balancing things on its own. The flora and fauna has the first right of habitation here and we should visit them only as guests”.

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