In the last 35 years of my life as a wildlife lover and working closely with Wildlife Officials and NGOs, I have always believed that we have to protect nature so that it is not altered and affected due to either human presence or human interference. On 31st May 2012, due to one incidence, my belief on this just grew more assertive.
Visiting Tiger Safari has been routine for me. More than 1000 tiger safari visits across almost all tiger reserves of our country and sightings of more than 250 different tigers across all age groups have consistently increased commitment and determination to conserve forests.
But as I said earlier, 31st May was destined to be different. This evening’s Tiger Safari was not the same as the other 1000 odd safaris and tiger sightings I had witnessed. This evening began with regular herbivorous sightings. Finally, towards the end of our safari, we reached a waterhole wherein a tigress and her 4 cubs frequently visited to beat the heat. As per our plan, we reached the spot, and the tigress cub was waiting inside the pond to welcome us. We waited patiently together. It was the regular routine of my pool of experience until this time. But as we saw a Wild Boar coming near the pond, I realized that I was about to witness the fiercest battle for survival between the two species. This wild boar was well built and mature, and the tigress was barely 18 months old and would have learned a few hunting lessons from her mother. This development was about to change her life, and she, too, was unaware of what lay next to her.
As she realized about the boar, she prepared for the attack as per textbook stance, and with appropriate timing, she lodged a frontal attack on the wild boar, which weighed more than her anytime. But this was her first independent kill, and this was a test of times for her survival.
There was this struggle between the two for half-hour wherein the boar tried to save himself with his raw power, and the tigress gave him no chance to counterattack. Ultimately, this young tigress had proved that we were in the presence of a Queen. The next Queen of Tadoba proved her mettle by overpowering this big wild boar alone. Throughout this session, I, along with my friends, were spellbound, speechless, and glued to our positions inside the Gypsy without making a simple noise. We witnessed Mother Nature’s most significant lesson of survival of the fittest. Mother Nature was working at its best. A new generation of rulers was getting ready to take over the current leaders and shape the next generations over time.
All I did was take some snaps of this entire drama and felt blessed to watch all this for the first time in my life. When I showed these snaps to some people, their initial reaction was “wow,” but then they thought it cruel to the prey. These reactions and this young tigress cub made me think once again. It taught me not to interfere in nature’s balance as nature can balance the acts on its own. We have to understand that jungle is home to wild animals. Flora and fauna have the first right of habitation there, and we should visit them only as guests. We are no one to disturb this ecological balance by enforcing anything there.
That day, this young tigress cub can hunt on her own, and she is the one who shows the way that they don’t need human interference to live their life. They are capable of living there own, albeit you leave them to their privacy. After this incident, I could again re-affirm my belief that we have to protect Mother Nature by reducing human interference. Yes, if we follow forest rules, it may take time and several safaris to see a Tiger.
I admit that what I saw that day was once a lifetime experience.
But Trust me, These once-in-a-lifetime safari events frequently occur, just with other tigers in another part of the forests. You just need to be At the Right Place & at the Right Time to witness that Live. And When You do Witness it, Just like I did, I am sure everyone will agree that natural wildlife can also be seen without disturbing their natural habitats and instincts. One should go to the forest as a nature lover and a preserver to enjoy the beauty of nature. We already lost a lot that Forrest had to offer in our quest for sightings, fame & economic growth. I would like to conclude that everyone should visit the forest but only as guests. Do not disturb the wildlife by overdoing anything or bypassing the forest laws.

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