Sultan the Tiger Cub

He was first discovered in the company of his mother Noor (T39), the reigning tigress of the Sultanpur area, on a hot summer day in 2012. About 4 months old at the time, he was ready to stare down jeeps and canters even at that young age. For that reason, he was named Sultan, a title associated with kings and emperors, one which signifies authority.

Sultan the Tiger Cub
Sultan the Tiger Cub

Sultan’s pedigree is impeccable; his maternal line descends from the tigers of the Sultanpur area, his mother Noor is arguably one of Ranthambhore’s most effective huntress’ with an enviable kill ratio. His father is the legendary Ustad (T24), a name to reckon with on the ferocity charts. Sultan appears, even at 15 months to have imbibed the best of his parents’ genes. Only a few days ago, while practising his stalking he was able to approach a herd of nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus) to within a few feet without them having noticed his presence. Given that he is far from grown up, the confidence of this young tiger was evident. Shortly afterwards he stalked a Sher Bagh jeep, glaring us down and forcing the reverse gears to work overtime, after which he placidly sat down on the road in front of us, licking his oversized paws.

Sultan's mother Noor (T39) is one of Ranthambhore's most proficient hunters
Sultan’s mother Noor (T39) is one of Ranthambhore’s most proficient hunters

Sultan is an unusual cub, among Ranthambhore’s current young ‘uns, being the single cub of his mother’s first litter. Consequently, he appears to miss the company of siblings to play, practise and learn with. Obviously aware of this, both his parents spend a lot of time with their boy, actually simulating playfulness and other behaviour associated with cubs in a litter. The exercise has given Sultan a level of confidence that is unheard of for a tiger of his age. In the company of his mother, he plays ‘protector’ and there is something of a ‘man of the house’ aspect in his behaviour as he positions himself between his mother and a jeep of spectators. With his father, he is physically expressive, slapping paws and fumbling about Ustad’s formidable frame.

The formidable Ustad (T24) is Sultan's father.
The formidable Ustad (T24) is Sultan’s father.

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For everyone at Ranthambhore, the character of this young male tiger suggests a great future ahead (touchwood). His absence last month, for nearly 10 days from the Park scene saw many a nervous brow until he was discovered in characteristic form with his mother a few days’ ago. This is why we celebrate Sultan this week, here’s to the prince of Ranthambhore!

Written by Yusuf Ansari
Photography by Yusuf Ansari

19 thoughts on “Sultan the Tiger Cub

  1. Thanks for the information, its fascinating to read about the different tigers that inhabit Ranthambore. Would this be one of the Tiger that we saw during our visit there in March?

    1. Hey Rich, great to hear from you and thanks for the feedback!
      Sultan was not among the tigers we sighted together, though we did see his father Ustad, (T24) on the first drive back. We saw 3 other sub-adults including 2 male ones of the tigress Brat (T19).
      How is the Majingilane Coalition doing back at Londolozi? The Lion Warfare film is absolutely thrilling.

      1. Nice to piece the family trees together and great to have seen his father. Ive got a stunning shot of him walking in front of the vehicle with Dave and you watching on :-).

        The Majingilane coalition is doing well, although split up at the moment, they still hold much of the territory throughout Londolozi and surrounds.


        1. Yes we are currently in the process of piecing together complete family trees of tigers (past and present). I saw the photograph in the blog! Fantastic shot and thanks very much…
          Am keenly following the Majingilane’s..



  2. WOW I’m happy I came hear after reading a blog of Londolozi. Great place with great Pictures of the Tigers.
    Love all big cats and I will come back to this site as often as I can

    1. Hi MIka, great to hear from you and sense the strong energy and feelings you have for the big cats. Look forward to hearing from you! Have you visited Ranthambhore before?



  3. How do I sign up to receive your blog regularly? I learned of Sher Bagh through the Londolozi blog – and will be visiting there again next month. We are planning a trip to India next year and I’d like to follow you. Do let me know. Thanks.

    1. Delighted to hear that!
      You can subscribe to our blog through the ‘subscribe’ tab available on the blog site and that should feed through to your email. Please let me know if you need more help with that. Look forward to hearing from you!

      Best wishes,


  4. This is very good blog actually reading but i think Sultan want to see this magnificent creature my goodness.

    1. Thank you for your comments and please do come and visit us soon. Sultan is definitely growing up to be one of the bigger males in the park.

  5. i Want to visit this place and when is the possibly good time to view the tigers sigthing i love to visit ranthambhore

    1. The best time for sightings would be the summer as all the animals congregate around the water-holes. However, so far we have had a very good sighting record this season. Follow us on twitter for regular sighting updates!

  6. Hi,
    was at Ranthambore and had a magnificent sight of Sultan. Starting from forcing our Jeep to reverse gear to sighting the prey, preparing & finally plunge for the Sambar Deer who was coolly having mud bath. The day was fortunate for the deer.. Sultan looks stunning & strong built.
    I have captured some beautiful shots & videos of the same. will love to share.

    1. Dear Bk,

      Thank you for your comment. Sultan is indeed fast becoming one of our favourites!

      We would love to have a contribution from you for the blog, please email us on

      Thank you and do keep following us to stay in touch with the latest news!



  7. Hi,
    Thanks for the wonderful information. I visited ranthambhor in last week of October 2014 and were so lucky to sight noor T39 and her son sultan T72 on two different safaris. But since I came back can’t stop thinking about those wonderful big cats. Seen almost all videos about ranthambhor tigers on YouTube. And all of them feels like my family to me. I think I m in love with them, will defiantly keep coming back to meet them. Kindly suggest where can I buy ‘face to face’ book if available.
    Thanks again.

    1. You must come back and visit. Guests at Sher Bagh have had super sightings of the tigers this season. T19 (Brat) and her 3 cubs are being seen on a daily basis as well as T39 (Noor) with her two. Surreal and very special safari moments watching the new generations grow up!
      We currently do not have any Face to Face books in stock at camp, perhaps try online.
      Do let us know when you are next back in Ranthambhore!

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