Ranthambore tiger reserve sighting from the protected reserve

Posted by Lydia Unwin on

Ranthambore National Park is a vast wildlife reserve near the town of Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, northern India. It is a former royal hunting ground and now a wildlife sanctuary, famous for its population of tigers, a 1000-year-old fort and a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It is 12 hours drive from the Corbett National Park, founded by Jim Corbett, expert huntsman, conservationist, and author of Man-Eaters of Kumaon. Jim Corbett is the subject of a biography written by Duff Hart-Davis, Hero of Kumaon

This email was sent to Merlin Unwin Books about a sighting of the Ranthambore tiger by Dr. Johnsingh

This tiger was seen on 15th October 21 in the 5th Zone of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. I was keen to take a picture of its face with whiskers on either side but the tiger, without looking in my direction, walked past our vehicle and with the nimbleness of a small cat jumped across the stream which was to its right and effortlessly like a goral went over a steep hillock and disappeared. 

When  I wondered what could be the function of its whiskers I found an answer in The Chowgarh Tigers story written by Jim Corbett. 

Corbett writes that tigers do not know that human beings have no sense of smell, and when a tiger becomes a man-eater it treats human beings exactly it treats its wild prey, that is, it approaches its intended victims up-wind or lies up in wait for them down-wind. 

How do the tigers know the wind direction? One can assume that its long sensitive whiskers may help in knowing the wind direction.

Veerappan, the smuggler, poacher and the hunter possibly used his long moustache to know the wind direction when he was stalking elephants and other wild animals!!!  

One can have a nice discussion on this over a campfire while somewhere in  Jim Corbett's landscape!!! 

A.J.T. Johnsingh

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