Tiger, Kabini -
Meet the most magnificent specimen that’s rolled out of God’s evolutionary factory. Custom built to be the ultimate moving force in his environment, the Royal Bengal Tiger of Nagarhole doesn’t just have looks that can kill, but the tools that can too. When you check out this model of feline grace and power, take your own sweet time. For, this offer holds good only till stocks last, and they are depleting rather fast. At last count there were only 1411 of his kind left in the wild in India. Even as we feature him on Lifescapes’ first anniversary issue, a rather sobering thought is that there could be less of his tribe by the time we get around to celebrating our next. But while monarchy still holds sway in the animal kingdom, let us raise a toast to His Royal Highness. Or should we say ‘Royal Shyness?’ For, this mighty cat is a timid mouse when it comes to the spotlight, and is bashful beyond compare. While his cousins in the other national parks don’t mind strutting their stuff on the jungle catwalks, the Nagarhole version retains his innate shyness and is seen less frequently. While this may seem a dampener for tourists looking to notch up ‘sightings’, it seems to serve him rather well, and perhaps explains why this belt has the highest population of tigers in the wild. The image above is a classic case of the ambusher becoming the ambushed: the mighty hunter looking surprised and not a little abashed at having been caught on film, a rarity may we add. But with efforts like Lifescapes, whose readers aid in the process of Conservation through Conversations, there’s still hope that the future for the King of Kabini is unlimited.