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Hi SafariTalk! Monday again so here is a new Memory. This weeks picture is from 2015 and a nice gamedrive in Seronera Serengeti when I got surrounded by 26 Lions. I got it on Video as well, if somebody is interested. Have a great week! /SAFARILEGEND
The Territory posted a topic in IndiaA Wilderness's Rebirth : As a group of wildlife enthusiasts in India, it is truly inspiring to witness the transformation of a lesser known yet an extremely important wilderness of the country turn into a major attraction for not only nature lovers but for a layman as well. Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary, now popularly known as UKWLS, is currently the most sought after wildlife destination in the country. It is a tremendous achievement for the wilderness given its location and its close proximity to some of country’s most famous National Parks and Tiger Reserves. Situated at a distance of 50 kms approx.(an hour by road) from the city of Nagpur, in the Indian State of Maharashtra, the forest was declared as a wildlife sanctuary back in June 2012. The main reason being the presence of the king of Indian Jungles, the Bengal Tiger. It was a delightful news for all the wildlife savvy individuals, mainly those , in the western part of the country. For the first 1.5 – 2 years, UKWLS had a sluggish start as it was always considered as an optional add on for majority of the wildlife lovers who visited this part of the country for the more recognized National Parks or Tiger Reserves like Tadoba, Pench or Kanha due to a couple of reasons (a.) the area was comparatively less; 189 sq kms looks way too tiny when compared to Tadoba (700 sq kms of core area) and the other National Parks around and (b.) the scarcity of good accommodations in the area. Then came the turning point in the history of UKWLS. A male tiger named Jay, touted to be Maharashtra’s largest Tiger at the moment, and some say he may well be in for the top slot as the country’s largest Tiger too, made a superstar like appearance in UKWLS. Whether or not, he is indeed the largest Tiger in the country or in Maharashtra, is something we would leave it up to the wildlife experts and big cat enthusiasts to debate on, however what was important was his huge size and his sudden presence in the sanctuary. To top it all, this enormous brute was more than happy to oblige the visitors with a glimpse of his royal behaviour more often than not. In fact he made it a point to welcome or see off the Safari vehicles by sitting bang in the middle of the Safari track. UKWLS already had 4 tigers before Jay’s arrival, with an equal male-female ratio. As expected, Jay pushed the 2 resident males out of the core territory due to his towering size and became the only dominant male in this vast wilderness. It is believed that he also lured a tigress from the Pench Tiger Reserve taking the female tally to 3. The scene was now set for Jay to stamp his dominance over his newly acquired territory that was spread across 180 odd sq kms, way larger than an average male tiger, but Jay was no ordinary Tiger. In a span on the next 6 months he spent ample amount of time with all 3 tigresses and Jay’s next generation was well on its way. Within no time, there were 13 tigers in UKWLS which included Jay, the 3 tigresses and 9 cubs. With no other male in the surrounding area there wasn’t much of a threat to these cubs. They started growing and so did UKWLS’s popularity. They quickly started following their father’s footsteps and were very bold right from a tender age to face the tourists and the safari vehicles. That was the triggering point that shot up UKWLS as a dream destination for the wildlife lovers. Today UKWLS is a Tiger hub, with the cubs now around 15-20 months old they have acquired huge sizes, and even at this tender age almost all of them dwarf their mothers. They have now started actively participating in the hunts and it is one hell of a sight to see these large groups of Tigers take down prey as large as a Gaur or a Nilgai with ease. The prey base is now in check and with the reduction in the grazing rate, it may well improve the soil holding capacity of the forest thereby making it healthier in terms of the eco-system. Visitors throng the sanctuary to get a glimpse of these wonderful creatures and they are not disappointed at all. This is once again, a classic example of the tremendous importance a Tiger holds in the entire ecosystem and how its presence benefits the entire jungle. As the cubs will turn into adults in the next 6-8 months they will venture out in search of their own territories and thus benefitting the surrounding vegetation as well. It may be safe to say that Jay could well be the game changer as far as UKWLS’s fortunes are concerned and who knows, Maharashtra would boast of another Tiger reserve in the State. In any which way Jay has given a re-birth to UKWLS and we wish the sanctuary continues to prosper.
Similarly to my posting of a dramatically epic sighting in Etosha (http://safaritalk.net/topic/12745-dramatic-etosha-battle/), here is a short morning's report of what went down in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in November 2012 one fateful morning... This image should give you a clue! Full story here: http://blog.morkelerasmus.com/2013/01/just-another-kalahari-morning.html Thanks for your time
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