Wednesday, April 29, 2009
My life-changing tigress
This is the most beautiful tiger I've ever seen. My photographs don't do her justice at all.
She crossed the path about fifty feet away from our gypsy, in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve last year. Around 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
Even after centuries of civilization, the aura of the top predator can still turn us into jelly. The one word that kept coming to mind as she passed was "flawless."
All too soon she disappeared back into the forest...leaving us gaping and speechless.
Once we got our speech - and our breath! - back, we could talk of nothing else all day. Seeing that tigress was a high point in my life, and for my friends too. In fact she was also a turning point for me, because she made me decide to work for tiger conservation.
I've never seen her again, on subsequent trips to Tadoba. But I keep looking.
And I'm eternally grateful for those few fleeting moments when her world overlapped with mine.