Bagh Tola Jungle Stories

Night Time Patrol

Last night, we heard quite a few alarm calls from around the lodge. Given that it was raining heavily,
we decided not to venture out at night. We hoped that the pug marks of whichever predator
triggered those alarm calls would not be washed away by the morning.

In the morning, once the rains subsided, we scoped around the usual pathways frequented by the
large cats around the lodge and the nearby water body.

The smell of the forest after a good rain is quite enchanting – which I can best describe as a fresh
earthy scent. As I was distracted with the sights and smells, Ache Lal (our service staff and my usual
companion for morning recces) pointed me to a set of fresh tiger tracks.

They were from a sub adult tigress. We had not seen her or her pug marks in this area alone. She
used to stay near her brother until a couple months back and looks like she has finally started to
move alone. Our lodge lies at the edge of the buffer zone and forms part of the territory of the
“Buffer Wali female”- her mother, who has been the resident tigress here for over 2 years.

As we return to the lodge after our morning expedition, several thoughts come to mind as I sit down
with a hot cup of coffee. Could this be a sub adult cub of our resident female? Or are these tracks of
a new female who has been displaced from the core zone and is trying to find a new territory? Will
we get to see her anytime or will she be driven further away from the area?

As I ponder these thoughts, my mind soon gets distracted by the mesmerising bird song of the forest
and the sound of a light shower, which fortuitously started once we were comfortably back in the

We eagerly await the upcoming start of the season to understand what all has changed in the core
zones during the monsoons!

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