Travel: Ranthambore Tigers

imageWe decided to take a walk on the wild side today and ventured southeast of Jaipur to visit Ranthambore National Park.

It is about 160 km away from the city, which realistically should only be a 2.5-hr drive, however it ended up being around a 4-hr drive given the poor state of the roads outside the larger cities, the slower pace due to a sandstorm, and the traffic that is classically India.

After arriving at the park entrance, it took Nick some serious negotiating and the help of the local policeman to secure spots on a safari vehicle for us. The individual that had guaranteed us seats earlier in the day was unable to deliver; fortunately, he refunded all of our money.

Credit: Himangini Rathore Hooja

Credit: Himangini Rathore Hooja

Ranthambore is one of the largest national parks in Northern India, covering a total area of 392 sq. km. Declared one of the Project Tiger Reserves in 1973, it became a national park in 1980. The sanctuary is best known for its tigers, and it is for this reason that we visited, with hopes to see one in its natural Jungle Habitat.

 

Unfortunately, this did not happen, despite the tiger population being at 61 – the highest its been in the last decade.

It is important to recall that the species native to India, the Bengal Tiger, is classified as endangered, with less than 2,500 existing worldwide, and a downward trend. As with most creatures on the endangered species list, poachers are a constant threat to their existence.

imageThe sad truth is that the rarer the animal is, the higher is the asking price for their meat, skins, and bones on the black market. Too many individuals are concerned with appearances and are constantly finding ways to display their power and wealth.

 

We did, however manage to see some of the other native wildlife, and even spotted paw prints in the dirt!

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