THE TIGER

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - ON SAFARI -

“By the Law of the Jun­gle he has no right to change his quarters with­out due warn­ing. He will frighten ev­ery head of game within ten miles ...” Rud­yard Ki­pling, The Jun­gle Book

It’s hard to cast this near­ly­grown tiger cub as a coward. First, he’s out on his own, mi­nus mum and three sib­lings.

Sec­ond, he’s eye­ing off three mas­sively mus­cled gaur bulls – the largest wild cat­tle in the world, sport­ing dark humps on their backs and gleam­ing horns.

And thirdly, he de­cides to have a go, lol­lop­ing to­ward them in full view and vir­tu­ally lick­ing his lips at the thought of a week’s grub from one heroic kill.

So he isn’t ex­actly a scaredy cat. But nor are his hunt­ing skills ex­actly well-de­vel­oped.

Cam­ou­flage? Sneak­ing? What’s that? The gaur spot him, snort, stomp then rush straight at him, clearly up­set their grazing has been dis­turbed. The cub slams on the brakes like a car­toon character, and high­tails it into the jun­gle. The cranky gaur give chase.

He makes it in­tact. Mum turns up on the af­ter­noon drive, mov­ing slowly through low grass, growl­ing for him to join the fam­ily for the night.

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