In search of Sher Khan: Day 2

No luck today either.
We start the morning safari at 6 am. Its a pleasant morning,doesn’t feel like summer at all. There’s a cool breeze blowing, the sun hasn’t risen yet and the sky is clear. We laugh about how worried we were about the heat before arriving here.
We see a couple of peacocks, a little black and white bird, the size of a sparrow (I don’t know the name), a few more spotted and sambar deer.
Animal sightings are few today, we hardly see any. The jungle is quiet and appears asleep. But that’s not how its supposed to be.
We meet a few other jeeps sitting idle at a turning. We are told that there’s a chance that a tigress will be seen because the area is known to be her territory and the guides know that her cubs are deeper inside the jungle. The tigress is believed to have gone hunting or for a drink of water. We wait in anticipation, knowing the mother will soon return to her cubs.
More jeeps join us. Everyone is quietly scanning the jungle for any activity. But there’s nothing. Everyone is patient but the younger kids are getting restless. The other guides tell us what they’ve seen or heard. They claim to have heard a warning call.
All the jeeps move in that direction, but again there’s nothing. The sun is beating down on us now and temperatures have risen. Its the dry kind of heat, no moisure in the air at all.
Our driver suddenly stops at a turning, there’s one more jeep ahead of us, waiting. They are scanning the ground. Our driver points it out to us-a tiger’s paw print. Its right there in the dust on the side of the road, looks fresh too. But in these parts fresh could mean two hours old. The tiger may have moved far away by now.
We keep searching, but no luck.
Our safari’s coming to an end. We start moving towards the gate, tired and extremely hungry. We’ve been roaming for almost four hours and haven’t had any luck of seeing any new animals. The sun is making it hard for us to see straight ahead.
We exit through the gate and finish another safari without a glimpse of the national animal of India. One more safari to go before we leave.
Will tomorrow be our lucky day?

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