On our first visit to the Pench national park, we sighted and photographed several species including the Golden Jackal, White-eyed Buzzard, Leopard, Chital and the Rhesus Macque. One significant exclusion was the Bengal Tiger and we hoped that our fortune would change during our second visit to this national park.
As we entered the Pench national park on our first Safari, our guide told us that a Bengal Tiger had killed a Nilgai near a waterhole early that morning. And since the kill was left in the open, there was a good chance of sighting that Bengal Tiger.
As we reached the waterhole, there were a few jeeps lined up in front of us and the excitement of the tourists clearly indicated that they were watching a Bengal Tiger. As we were one of the last jeeps in a long queue, we only got a fleeting glance of the endangered cat, a Tigress, as it crossed the safari track. The Tigress walked into the forest thicket and settled down under the shade of a tree some 200 feet away from the safari track. If we had not spotted her walking away, there was no way that we could have seen her sleeping under that tree as she was perfectly camouflaged.
Since the kill was by the side of the waterhole, we were sure she would come back to it and in that hope we waited patiently. As minutes ticked by, one by one the other jeeps lost patience and moved away, only to be replaced by a new set of tourists who wanted to get a glimpse of the Tigress. Finally, after about 90 minutes, she woke up, looked in the direction of the jeeps and seeing that there were too many for her comfort, walked away from all of us further into the forest and we missed our opportunity to get some pictures of the animal.