It was towards the end of winter and the morning mist was yet to fade away. Little did I know it then, that it would be one of my most memorable jungle safaris. A few minutes into the safari I ran into a pair of Wild Dogs or Dholes – a male and a female. They casually trailed the track browsing for food and occasionally leaped into bushes to chase hares. I sat there watching their interesting behavior for a long time. Suddenly, the female displayed a very unique poise; she stood on her hind legs and tapped her foot on the ground, making a noise. I had never seen this behavior before, and was pleasantly surprised when a fine young male tiger emerged from the lantana. The Dholes then quickly vanished into the lantana undergrowth.

The tiger continued to walk towards the track. In no time, the Dholes reappeared there, as if to challenge the tiger. My heart started pounding harder, and despite the winter morning chill, I was sweating. The tiger ambled across the path and then paused for a moment; that’s when it appeared as if he was going to charge at the Dholes. The female ran for her life, but the male stood his ground, showing great courage. The light was dramatic and those few moments with two alpha predators in a face-off left me spellbound. Both predators then walked their path into the jungle, opposite ways, blessing us with the moment of a lifetime!

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