Wild Tigers of India – in Battle!

Wild Tigers of India – in Battle!

June 2015 – Destination: Ranthambore National Park, India.

Well to start, I need to thank all of my guests – over 40 Photo Tour excursions around the world, and so many stories to tell!  Over the next few months I do plan to publish more images, and articles here with Focusing on Wildlife.  It’s been too long since I have contributed!

Ranthambore National Park is one of India’s largest reserves as there are about 62 wild tigers, including a family of 5 animals that we visited during our photo tour in June 2015. Ranthambore National Park is located near Sawaimadhopur, Rajasthan.  A few days before this altercation described below, we did see all five tigers at this same location.  (Within 40 yards of our jeep!)  We saw the father of these cubs, who is named Star T28, (a 550 pound Male), and the mother Krishna T19, who was born in 2006 at this same location.

This battle took place on our last day of this photo tour.

During this fighting event, we had 3 siblings, with 2 sisters, and their brother involved in this play fight.  Normally, we would find these three tigers together, but on this last day of our tour, they somehow were separated. We arrived in the area and found the first sister on the right, about 500 meters from our jeep.  She decided to move towards what we call the “grass beach”, which is maintained by a herd of spotted deer.

As she moved towards us, the brother and second sister came out of the woods on our left, moving around the 1.5 km round pond, all the while they were making eye contact with the sister on our right.  We were able to select an open spot for our jeeps, and park our vehicle right and the meeting point!  I was getting nervous, as time was running out on us.  Our jeep had to be outside the gate by exactly 6 pm.

The tension was building.

I could see the anxiety in their eyes.  The 2 female tigers were preparing for a sparring match; we could sense the mood by watching their body language. Funny how the brother was much more interested in play, if fact I have other images of him chasing birds around before they finally did come together.  He did try to play as you will see below, with the sister coming from the right, but she quickly fended him off to create the fight scene with here dominant sister.

It was about 5:50 pm when this meet and greet happened!  The brother was involved for a few short seconds, and then the two sisters took over the incident.  A heated battle lasted maybe 5 seconds, the incredible roars still playback in my mind!  We all were looking for blood, they seemed so aggressive in this battle but none was found after the fight.  The intensity was incredible.

One thing I also find amazing, we had 16 safaris booked, 15 were complete, and successful as the wildlife here is wonderful, the photo opportunities amazing!   This fighting event happened on our very last trip out to see the tigers, and also, during the last 5 minutes of this last safari.  It took weeks for me to calm down after all this excitement!

Wild tigers wrestle and play fight much like any other cat species. They develop much needed defensive skills for future altercations while protecting their own territory. After this fight concluded, they all lay down, for a rest, licking their chops, and preparing for the next hunt!

The tour alone was spectacular.  I fired over 4,000 images of tigers alone, along with so many other images of deer, bears, and birds.  Much like a safari in Africa, there is always something cool to photograph around every corner.  After 4 tours to India alone, I am extremely confident about future successful programs.  Our guides and hotel services are superb. Food is amazing!!

Here we have a few of the images, leading up to the fight.

Wild Tigers of India – in Battle!
Tiger Female preparing for a Fight
RJB 4783 Royal Bengal Tiger 1200 web
Tiger approaches from the right side of the pond
RJB 4760 Royal Bengal Tiger looking for a Fight 1200 web
Royal Bengal Tiger looking for a Fight!
RJB 4909 Royal Bengal Tiger Preparing for a Fight 1200 web
Female on the left is sensing that a fight is about to start!
RJB 4834 Royal Bengal Tiger with Reflection 1200 web
Royal Bengal Tiger with Reflection
RJB 5034 Tigers about to Fight 1200 web
2 sisters and their brother prepare for a fight.
RJB 5026 Tiger Sisters about to Fight 1200 web
Definitely some anger happening!
RJB 5028 Tiger Siblings getting ready to Fight 1200 web
The brother wants to get involved.
RJB 5041 Royal Bengal Tigers 1200 web
Now the brother has second thoughts.
RJB 5046 The Tiger Sisters Dance 1200 web
so the brother decides to let the girls fight!
RJB 5047 Tiger Sister in a Fight 1200 web
Let the fight begin!
RJB 5050 Tiger Fight 1200 web
Tiger Fight
RJB 5051 Tiger Sisters in Battle 2 1200 web
Tiger Fight
RJB 5051 Tiger Sisters in Battle 2 1200 web 1 1
Tiger Sisters in Battle
RJB 5046 Royal Bengal Tiger Sisters in Battle 1200 web
Royal Bengal Tiger Sisters in Battle
RJB 5054 Royal Bengal Tigers in Battle edit 1 1200 web
Royal Bengal Tigers in Battle
RJB 5056. Tiger Fight 1200 web
Tiger Fight

Thanks for looking!  for more images taken during my tours to India, please visit this page:

Images of India

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Raymond Barlow

Raymond Barlow

Ray Barlow's passion for capturing birds and wildlife began at the Manila Zoo in 2004. Since then he has established himself as a professional bird and wildlife photographer. Ray is based near to Toronto Canada and hosts photography travel tours and workshops around the world. He goes to places like Yellowstone, Tanzania, Costa Rica, India, and British Columbia. Action photography including animals in chase or birds such as hummingbirds in flight is Ray's specialty. Now being sponsored by Jobu Design gimbal Heads.

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