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This is a story about a sub-adult tiger called “Banbehi-male-cub”, one of three cubs of “Banbehi-female” and “Mangu” from that generation. There was some unusual tiger behavior going on at the time when we saw Banbehi-male-cub and one of his siblings.
This vlog also tells us how tigers get their names, and what it’s like to go on safaris to Bandhavgarh National Park during summer.
The morning safari at Bandhavgarh starts at 5:30 during the summer. It had stopped raining at 5 o’clock when our safari jeep came to pick us up and we were on our way!
The sun came out angry after the rains that morning and Bandhavgarh went into a state of sublimation.
After four and a half hours of driving around in the heat we hadn’t seen a single tiger—and were on our way out. Then our luck changed.
”Banbehi-male-cub” appeared. He had turned two years old, and was at a stage in his life when tigers leave their parents and siblings and embark on their own independent journeys—proclaiming territories and seeking mates.
A few days earlier, his mother, “Banbehi-female” had another litter.
Tigers get their names either from the area where they were first spotted, or by their appearance or behavior. Banbehi is the name of a river that flows in this female tiger’s territory—and that’s how she got her name.
Now tigers don’t meet their cubs from previous litters when they have a new litter but Banbehi-female would meet these subadult cubs from her previous litter.
These meetings continued for about a month after the new cubs were born.
Mangu, a large male tiger was the father of both these litters—that’s the only reason why this was possible.
Of course the newborn cubs were away in a secret cave far away from Banbehi-male-cub and his siblings otherwise they would have been killed by the previous generation.
The almost burnt out areas of this photo remind me of the heat that morning.
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