Injury prone Shashi, the dominant male of the Tala jungle, (also known as Bamera male) has been in the wars again. He had been feasting outside the park on private land behind Lakhumar on a domestic buffalo that Wakeeta had ambushed for her hungry teenage family. He had a pronounced limp in his right foreleg. He has been fighting with one of his three transient son’s again all of which left tell tale footprints about his territory this morning. Now with a nasty slash to his shoulder and a painful wound on his foot he is tending his wounded pride and ghashed injuries with his barbed tongue, while the Forest Department delivered him morale boosting medication in the form of a terrified goat. He was uninterested and unimpressed, having already filled his extended belly.
Today he’s resting near Kinnarwah pool in the tall damp grassy meadow licking his injured paw while protection staff keep a watchful eye on his movements. In his tenth year – middle aged for tigers – Bamera is at his prime, but he is struggling in this testosterone saturated park right, most of whom are his very own progeny. He is not willing to hand in the towel yet, especially to so young a whippersnapper as his own son Pushpraj for example.
Carefully rising to his feet Shashi limps off towards better cover, a thick bamboo cover offering shade. Chital deer bark their warning signals to surrounding inhabitants, but recognise his incapacities. The limp appear severe but cats have a miraculous ability to recover from the worst of injuries in the wild. His father and indeed his grandfather before him went through such inevitable struggles and still reigned on. Only last year Shashi suffered a bad limp yet recovered well but had by then conceded control and dominion over Vijaya and her Chakradhara territory. .
The problem for Shashi now is that he cannot afford to lose more ground, or another one of the females, Tulsi and Wakeeta in his harem, because it is these two ladies that he has he relies on for much of his food now. The perpetual frontier wars and now recuperation and recovery will not allow him much time too hunt for himself.
Times are tough for the noble but fallible Shashi, the ever present Bandhavgarh male. Times are also unsettling for both Wakeeta and Tulsi, both of which are raising cubs that need his protection – from their own half brothers!
Credits: Tiger Nation