National Geographic: Land of the Tiger


and hearing are acute,

but their vision is only moderate.

As long as he tigress moves

very, very slowly

or remains motionless

she cannot be been by them,

even when only 30 or 40 feet away.

Her camouflage hides her completely.

The wind shifts and

the tigress is scented.

The hunt is over.

A tigress stakes her claim to

her home range

by spraying prominent trees and bushes

Male tigers mark their territories

in a symbolic fashion.

The size of a tiger's home range

thus marked out varies widely.

On the average a female's territory

is some ten square miles.

Males have much larger territories

which overlap those of the females.

When one tiger smells the scent

of another

it grimaces in what is

called a "flehmen" display.

By following scent markings

and listening for roars,

males and females find each other.

The pair stays together for two or

three days and mates frequently

for some periods as often

as every 10 to 15 minutes.

The hills are almost devoid

of nutritious grazing.

The sambar must come to the lake

to feed on water plant.

The deer and the mugger crocodiles

share the lake peaceably.

The sambar are nervous and uneasy

ready to flee at the slightest sound

or movement.

The constant and hidden menace

of the tiger haunts their every move.

Though he failed to make a kill,

as is so often the case,

this exceptionally bold

and athletic male specializes in

hunting from ambush around the lakes.

Early the next morning this same tiger

finally killed a sambar in the lake.

But to his fury the crocodiles

have snatched it from him.

Intimidated by the crocodiles'

strangely aggressive behavior,

the tiger reluctantly retreats.

But like all of his kind he does not

give up his quarry easily.

For nine hours the tiger waits.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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