Jump to content

There's a Tiger at the bus stop.


Galana
 Share

Recommended Posts

We had seen a TV programme on the Western Ghats and its wildlife so decided on a trip using AirFrance's new route to Bangalore.



During the three week trip we had an object lesson on never putting the camera away until back at the lodge.



This is the story as an edited extract from my journal.



To set the scene for what follows for those unfamiliar with this area the road from Kabini River Lodge to Nagarhole is a proper road with 'normal traffic' and indeed local buses.



Friday 10th April. An early morning call and away at 6.30. Lots of Elephant, Deer and Wildboar.



Nagarhole is a nice Park with fine scenery. Raptors were strangely absent but more birds were added to the list such as Parakeets etc., The Driver was not too keen on birds and had to be made to stop.


After our drive we had left the park to return to the lodge and as most folks do, we naturally relaxed and stood our eyes down from 'Red alert' to not quite “green”!


As we drove along these resting eyes suddenly shot out on stalks as there, lying beside the road, indeed next to a Bus stop, was a fine Tigress. She was quite calm and barely noticed as we skidded to a halt beside her. Amazing.



post-14856-0-72963800-1461265483_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-58459400-1461265497_thumb.jpg



She allowed a few pictures before rising and crossing the road behind us where, after a backward glance, she went into the forest..




post-14856-0-13508100-1461265527_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-39463300-1461265542_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-51385700-1461265572_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-89660300-1461265585_thumb.jpg



Just ahead another track joined ours at an angle and we guessed she may try to cross that also. So we drove up that minor road to see if we had guessed correctly. Sure enough she emerged, saw us, and went back a few feet and lay down.



post-14856-0-40036500-1461265618_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-17358200-1461265632_thumb.jpg



We got more pictures but she was very hard to see through the viewfinder but quite apparent to the naked eye.


post-14856-0-67201700-1461265673_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-12270600-1461265690_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-42333000-1461265722_thumb.jpg


Then the strangest thing I have ever experienced took place.



We heard a bus draw up down at the “bus Stop” we had just left and people were getting off. The Tigress also pricked up her ears.



post-14856-0-17406000-1461265739_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-10408200-1461265772_thumb.jpg


post-14856-0-30576800-1461265785_thumb.jpg



The passengers came up our road as there was small village in the distance and no doubt they were heading there. As they drew level with us we pointed out that there was a tiger watching them. Two boys climbed up onto our car and took a look but the rest just walked on by. They were within 20 yards of a full grown Tigress and did not bat an eyelid! Neither did the tiger. Our photos clearly show the big cat first looking at us, pricking up her ears at the sound of the bus and then looking at the people on foot very keenly. As they walked along you can see her head moving with them. But she made no attempt to do anything in either an aggressive or passive way. She just lay watching. Eventually she moved back into cover and we went off for a very late lunch.


Some questions remain unresolved. Did she often do this? Has she come to associate this place with strange human activity. Was the bus perhaps being checked as a possible future “meals on wheels” service?


We shall never know but I shall never forget the incident.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great story! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They were within 20 yards of a full grown Tigress and did not bat an eyelid! Neither did the tiger.

 

Buses run regularly, tigers are smart. She may have understood the routine. The details like pricking her ears really help make this story.

 

The chilling question: Was the bus perhaps being checked as a possible future “meals on wheels” service?

 

Change a few details, add some embellishment, some anthropomorphism, some illustrations and you are the author of a children's book.

 

Great story!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Change a few details, add some embellishment, some anthropomorphism, some illustrations and you are the author of a children's book.

 

 

Or a horror story! Fascinating, thanks for sharing @@Galana

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for writing this up @@Galana and what a lucky sighting! There's always a lot of general game hanging out by the highway - apparently, a male Leopard is regularly seen there too!

Edited by madaboutcheetah
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Galana, great story, isn't it nice that life just goes on, probably happens all the time but nobody notices. Very lucky for you though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fantastic sighting. Your story brought a smile to my face.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Change a few details, add some embellishment, some anthropomorphism, some illustrations and you are the author of a children's book.

 

 

Or a horror story! Fascinating, thanks for sharing @@Galana

 

Yes. It could go either way with a bit of imagination. Horror version could be akin to "The maneaters of Tsavo" with children mysteriously disappearing on the way home from school. With hindsight, I don't like that idea. Too near the truth?

 

But as a children's book? Well she looks friendly enough to me. Maybe she just meets the kids off the bus each day (like my old Labrador did with me) and teaches them about the wild on condition the children never tell the adults about their secret friend? A bit like Mowgli and Bagheera with a role reversal for Shere Khan?

Or, more fanciful, she was only waiting for the bus in order to go to market for her own supplies?

 

Either way our encounter left a great impression on me which I have been happy to share.

<The details like pricking her ears really help make this story.> Yes. The photos don't do that justice as the whole sequence shows her head moving in line with the peoples progress. I knew where the party was by where she was looking without having to turn o look behind me.

Edited by Galana
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Galana

Whoever is lucky enough to share your trips has a guaranteed stories to be told to grandkids!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very pleased you all enjoyed the story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@TonyQ

I very much wish It would be my story, as I have not yet seen a tiger in the wilderness (in our country a bus stop can be described as a wilderness sometimes). But all the credits goes to @@Galana .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@xelas

<Whoever is lucky enough to share your trips has a guaranteed stories to be told to grandkids!>

Well whether lucky to share with us is debatable but 'we' certainly seem to get a fair share of luck too. As you know I got four tigers for my friend at Christmas so you can correct that omission by getting on a plane to Delhi and in the meanwhile go and see the Wolves, Lynx and Bears of Slovenija. Just over an hour from your house! Lots would envy you that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@xelas

Sorry- I clicked on the wrong "mention"!

@@Galana

Sorry I clicked the wrong mention when responding to your story - so I will make my comment again!

- Great story, great sighting and I love the photos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mighty exciting experience @@Galana.

 

Its not common but not that uncommon either given the number of highways plying through/adjacent most protected areas in India. Sometimes it does end up like a circus though (With locals excited to see the mega fauna which they themselves cannot see within the parks due to the very high gate fees). An example below from a road adjacent to ranthambhore with a tiger lying next to it unbothered by the ruckus it had created around. (Mix of jeeps going into the park plus general folks excited about a tiger)

 

traffic Jam

Edited by bushbaby
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Galana

 

Great story in itself. But greatly improved with your impressive storytelling.

I'm with others, it would make a great children's book and plainly you are the person to write it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amazing story @@Galana! Yes the children's book would need a bit of candy-coating--unless it were written rather like a Grimm's fairy tale :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well written that way it would certainly be Grim! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy