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Wildlife

Tigers in the wild

But destruction of habitat and poaching continue to be the scourge of tiger populations in India. Text & photographs
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan: Playing “peekaboo” with the photographer.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Machali, Ranthambore's oldest tiger, with her cubs. She died on August 18 at the age of 19.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Ranthambore: Machali (the marking on her face resembles a fish) lived to be almost 20 (1997-2016) and ruled as the "Queen of Ranthambore" for a decade until one of her own cubs, Satra, took over her territory.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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A young adult at Ranthambore making it known that it is not too pleased about the photographer's approach.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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After a satisfying meal, relaxing and giving itself a back rub, at Ranthambore.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh: This tiger is getting across to surprise the deer grazing in the field. Besides being good swimmers, tigers are very swift and stealthy.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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For a surprise attack, hiding below ground level and deciding which deer to target.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Stalking its prey before launching an attack, at Bandhavgarh.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Bandhavgarh: When I was photographing this young male, I tried to change the lens in my camera, but he suddenly leaped across and before I could track him he had made his kill and was climbing the stone wall. Tigers have strong neck muscles and can lift a big sambar deer or even the bigger nilgai effortlessly.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Ranthambore: At one of the several ruins which give the inhabitants of this 392 sq km national park a unique sense of space.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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After a good swim, shaking off the water, at Bandhavgarh.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Ranthambore: The mother was away all night from the cubs to make a kill. In the morning, she came by where the cubs were to take them to the kill. The cubs were starving as well. When the mother was relaxing after a dip in the water, the cubs came to her one by one as they usually do for a ritual rubbing of faces. Here, the cub has got a whiff of the kill from the mother’s breath and is trying to hurry her to take them to the kill.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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A young adult at Bandhavgarh.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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A full grown cub grooms itself after a meal, at Ranthambore. The flies are around the face because of the blood.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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In the morning sun, relaxing with a drink in the "pool" at Ranthambore.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Tigers mating, at Ranthambore.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Bandhavgarh: In summer, tigers sometimes stay in caves since it is cool inside during the day.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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A cub watching a bird atop a tree, at Ranthambore.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Bandhavgarh. The cub was on top of a hilly area. My guide, Pappu, spotted the lizard approaching the cub fearlessly. I used an extender to my 600mm focal length lens to make it 840mm and barely got an image before the lizard slipped and fell to the ground.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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Siblings spar playfully in Ranthambore, but sometimes the game can get rough.Photo: JOHN ISAAC
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John Isaac.Photo: Jeannette
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