A tiger above the rest - A tribute to the Big Bam of the Central Highlands
|The Big Bam in his prime|
Very quickly, Bamera made an entry into Bandhavgarh as it's dominant male, overthrowing his ageing father - B2. Slated to be the biggest tiger Bandhavgarh had seen for a few years, Bamera coaxed everyones imagination into becoming a stuff of legends among the drivers and guides of the park. "Aree, gadi ke bonnet jitna bada hai" some claimed while others gestured with their hands an un realistic proportion to specify his size and width. But all had one declaration in common- "Bilkul B2 jaisa hai, shant aur shareef." Dying to sight this fast becoming darling of the forest, I finally saw him in the summer of 2012, during one of our Village Kids' Awareness Programmes. As soon as we had entered the Tala zone of the park in the sweltering heat, we could sense the sambur's un easiness. Several hesitant honks and foot stampings later, out he walked ignoring the frenzied Chital and honking Sambur to finally settling down in a pool of water in the Chakradhara meadows. Drinking water at sporadic intervals, he looked around lazily and slowly drifted into a hot summer afternoon nap. As expected, other vehicles rushed in to see him, clamouring with each other to get a better look at him, when one of the drivers laughed and said " yeh Bamera hai, aaram se dekho, itni jaldi uthne wala nahi hai" and he was right. This trait though, has always been true of Bamera, this calm disposition about him which was a treat to observe. That summer Bamera was quite a show stopper for the kids, appearing regally almost everyday, only to be met with gasps and admiration from the children.