Keepers See Tigers in the Wild

Ranthambore - A wild tiger named Aakash

Big Cat Rescuers explore India and search for tigers in the wild!

BCR Keepers go to see wild tigers in India
BCR Keepers go to see wild tigers in India

Former BCR intern Diane who is a Graduate Research Assistant at Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences, organized this trip of a lifetime. Diane is currently doing research for six months in India and sent out an invite for any of us to join her for an adventure.

We got a great group (18 of us total) of BCR volunteers, staff, former interns and a couple friends and family members, a local guide and Diane’s college professor to join her for 10 days where we visited 3 of India’s National Parks along with some cultural visits throughout the country.

We started our safari adventures in Kanha National Park where we stayed at gorgeous Kanha Jungle Lodge.

We started our safari adventures in Kanha National Park where we stayed at gorgeous Kanha Jungle Lodge.
We started our safari adventures in Kanha National Park where we stayed at gorgeous Kanha Jungle Lodge.

We spent each day going on a morning and evening safari and had some incredible sightings among the group.

Kanha Landscape
Photo by Brittany Mira

We feel incredibly lucky to have seen even one tiger in the wild but our group saw an unbelievable amount of tigers in our short time there… they must have smelled us coming… In total, we saw around 10 different tigers including 2- 8-month-old cubs in Kanha.

We also had the pleasure of seeing lots of other animals including many many (some rare) bird species, Dholes, Jackals, two different JUNGLE cats!, Spotted deer, Muntjac deer, Sambar deer, Gaur, Swamp deer, Wild boar, Mongoose, 3 and 5 stripe squirrels, Langur Monkeys and luckily for us NOT very many spiders or snakes LOL!

Indian Roller
Photo Brittany Mira

We also spotted scat and tracks for leopards, civet/genet and sloth bears even though we didn’t get to see them directly it was amazing knowing they were nearby 🙂

Kahna Paw Prints
Photo by Brittany Mira

The lodge we stayed in is family owned and they don’t miss a detail for their guests. They taught us how to properly wear saris, showed us first hand how the locals live, fed us like kings and queens and made us want to stay forever.

BCR Keepers go to see wild tigers in India
They taught us how to properly wear saris

Alyssa got a photo of a Jungle Cat in the wild, too.

Kanha - Jungle Cat in the wild
Photo by Alyssa Weber

But the journey must continue…

Next, we took a train ride overnight to Rajasthan where we stayed at the Ranthambore Kothi Hotel and visited Ranthambore National Park for morning and evening safaris.

Ranthambore Kothi
Ranthambore Kothi

This park landscape was drastically different from Kanha but did not disappoint, it’s said that this park inspired the story of The Jungle Book.

Ranthambore Landscape
Photo Brittany Mira

On our first safari, we spotted a Tigress named Arrowhead and watched her run across a land bridge and into ancient ruins.

Ranthambore - Wild tiger named Arrowhead
Photo by Jo Atkin

Ranthambore - Wild tiger named Arrowhead
Photo by Jamie Veronica

During our time here we were lucky enough to also see Arrowheads mother named Krishna with her 3 cubs, an unidentifiable female as well as our grand finale and the final tiger sighting of the trip… an 8-year-old male from Krishna’s first litter named Aakash.

We saw many ancient temples, forts, and ruins along with even more diverse bird species, antelope, Blue Bull, crocodiles and Macaque monkeys.

During our time in Rajasthan, we ventured into the city for shopping, sightseeing and 6 people in our group got their noses pierced in the traditional Indian way by a local family at their jewelry shop. What a thrilling adventure!

Our last stop was in Bharatpur where we stayed the night in the Laxmi Niwas Palace, visited the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary via rickshaws and the big finale was a visit to the Taj Mahal.

Palace
Palace

This was an unbelievable journey for all of us. We help care for captive tigers on a daily basis and to have the ability to see them, as they should be, wild and free, was truly an emotional experience, to say the least. There were many tears shed on this trip thinking about our beautiful but caged animals at home while watching these be free. It absolutely makes us all want to fight harder to end the suffering and protect those still left in the wild.

They plan to offer this trip or a very similar one in years to come so if you would like more information you can contact Diane at ddotson@g.clemson.edu.

Here are links to those who made this possible:

Thanks for loving BCR!
Keeper – Brittany Mira

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