Rare big cat sighting in India's Manas National Park

Click here to watch the video!While traveling to India, especially to its world-renowned national parks, one can never forget about the tigers. India's most charismatic and emblematic animal is the endangered Bengal tiger. While tourists can get a glimpse of this amazing feline in famous parks like Rathambore or Corbett, the truly wild tigers live in Assam in Northeast India. With very limited interaction with humans, Assam's population of tigers are known to be very elusive animals. Kaziranga National Park holds the densest population of Bengal tigers but residents and tourist rarely encounter them. Estimates of the exact population of these tigers are unknown as the only way to conduct a census is by recording pug marks left on the ground and by the occasional motion-activated photo traps.

In Manas National Park, there is an estimated 30 Bengal tigers left. With these numbers in mind, one tends to dismiss a possible encounter while riding the long and bumpy paths into the park. You can imagine how surreal the moment was when all of a sudden one of the forest officials driving with us starting yelling: "Tiger!, Tiger!"

Everybody in the jeep froze and the driver quickly stepped on the brakes. I anxiously turned the video camera on to try and videotape the feline walking on the path a long way ahead, maybe 100 meters in front of us. It was too far to get a good look at it, and as quickly as we had been warned, the big cat disappeared to a side.

In all likelihood, the big cat we encountered was a leopard. Although also a very rare sight, the number of leopards is considerably higher, if this was in fact a leopard it was most definitely a very big one.

Needless to say, the whole experience was exhilarating and a very good sign for Manas National Park. Almost denuded of its wildlife during social conflict in the 80s and 90s, Manas is struggling to recover. IFAW's Rhino and Elephant Rehab and Release projects are a big part of these conservation efforts. During our 3 hour excursion of Manas near the Bhutan border, we were lucky to spot wild elephants, Capped langurs, peacocks and, oh yes, a leopard, or was it a tiger? Watch the video, you be the judge.

Download tiger_or_leopard.wmv

Comments: 6

 
Anonymous
4 years ago

Tiger! Beyond doubt! Body shape, language, attitude all point toward it being a tiger. Too big and heavy to be a leopard.

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

wow! how exiting! my intelligance says this is phenominan, since as you all must know.. I am one of Englands most extrodinariest scientist. With my fellow companion Dr. Victor by my loyal side anyway i must go cheerio or should i say tata 4=for know!

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

i am very much interested in rearing the big cub so i want to know about its feeding habit as it grows.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

To whom it may concern:
I, (Sarah Azizian) am an architecture researcher. My field of research is animal sheltering and hospital in Khojir national park is located in Tehran,Iran . In process of gathering data for my thesis I have managed to find some information about your site. Exploring the National Park , mainly through internet and knowing the wide variety of your services, along with great facilities for animals, has served my interest to have more information about your site, in order to experience new condition, explore new ideas, and face with new questions about my favorite field to develop my knowledge, expertise, and research skills to the point at which I am able to act as a researcher and academician in the society which I come from.
With today’s architecture beauty is lost through imitation and soon, we will face the dilemma of balancing human needs with respect for nature. If respect to nature of human and animals being used neither much nor well in our architecture, then surely some of the difficulty can be traced to our confusion over what sort of attitude toward nature, animals and consequently over humans beings we are trying to express. Yet if we can effectively incorporate animal needs and physical nature, then our architecture can have a potential for wonder unmatched by any other in our environment.
Eventually, I wonder if you could kindly guide me through this process and serve me with some information about the sort of services you provide for the visitors and animals, the existing facilities along with different functions and the location of this site so adjacent to the city.
Your contribution will be a great step in achieving my goals in hope to make a difference in the attitude of people towards nature and animals and make a better world for all to live.
Sinecerly yours ,
Sarah azizian .

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Wow, nice video, great encounter! I don't know what it is, I have never seen either in the wild... The drop on the windscreen seems to be in the way too. I can imagine the exhiliration as I once saw a moose out in the wild in Sweden, at 6.00 AM from out of the car. Great experience! :)

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

I think its a leapord

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