Ranthambhore, which literally means, “the place of the pillars of war” may have had a contested history that we are all familiar with, but the battles still rage below the ramparts of the fort. Roaring cannons have gone silent and cavalry charges have ceased, but the present denizens of Ranthambhore – of a longer standing than the fort itself – are preparing for battle in the months to come. As summer approaches and the annual cycle of fewer waterholes ebbs towards a reality, an entirely new generation of tigers is on the move, looking for new territories and preparing to take on presently dominant adults. In this week’s blog we look at just some of the tigers and tiger families which are preparing to either leave the protection of their mothers or waiting for new challengers to appear in their domains.
Noor (T39) is months away from driving away her daughters and who knows how that familial fracas will turn out. With the four of them compacted into one territory, it is likely Noor will have to cede some ground to her young ones. Adjacent to Noor’s turf lies the now divided realm of her former adversary Dussehri (T60), the daughter of the late Mrs. Mango. While Dussehri has already parted ways with her three sub-adults, those tigers are looking for their own patch now. Could Arrowhead (T84), the present “Lady of the Lakes” find herself faced with a pincer movement into her territory? And what of the dominant males? For two of them, the Indala Male (T57) and Mustanda (T64), both separated from each other by the vast swathes of Ranthambhore times could get tough. The Indala Male may find that keeping Ustad’s territory is more difficult than gaining it while for Mustanda, already embattled with frequently fighting his neighbours, the arrival of a new male, in the form of T 41’s young male sub-adult may prove the last straw.