Tadoba : Place of the Big 5

Photo of Tadoba : Place of the Big 5 1/6 by kriti arora

Over the years, Tadoba National Park has become one of the most sought after wildlife destination in India. Created in 1955, it is one of the oldest national parks of Maharashtra. The frequency of sightings has ensured that wildlife enthusiasts visit this place again and again. This forest is home to numerous small and big species of the animal kingdom. But it is often marketed as the ‘Place of Big 5’ by the travel and tour operators now-a-days. The tracking and sightings of these five species can make your visit unforgettable to Tadoba!

1 of 5: Bengal Tigers

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Majestic Maya of Tadoba, one of the most famous tigers from our country currently.

The notable sightings of Bengal Tigers have made this place a paradise for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. The densely forested areas of Tadoba have many shy tigers that cannot be seen regularly, but there are some which can give a treat to your eyes during your safaris. Bold road shows and regular tiger activities can be seen regularly. Female tigers can be seen taking care of their young ones, and on the other hand male tigers of the forest can be seen ruling and defending their territories. Bollywood-inspired names given to these tigers will surely stick to your mind forever.Gabbar, Bajrang, Maya and Sonam, Madhuri, Lara, etc. are a few of them.

2 of 5: Indian Leopards

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Leopards are generally shy and difficult to spot on safaris. But Tadoba is definitely one of the best places to see one in the wild.

Indian Leopards are solitary and largely nocturnal, but these can be seen resting on the tree branches during the day or dragging their kills up trees. Leopards are not common in habitats where tiger density is high, and they get wedged between prime tiger habitat on one side, and cultivated village land on the other. Because of their shy nature, their habits and behavior is quite a mystery even to scientists till date. Consider yourself lucky if you see one while on a safari.

3 of 5: Indian Bison/Gaur

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Roadblock! When dangers seems to be close by, adult Gaurs make their young hide behind themselves in order to protect them.

The Gaur, or sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Indian Bison, is the heaviest species of wild cattle in the world. A large bull, in his prime, can weigh up to 1,000 kgs! They are seen in herds, but large bull Gaurs can sometimes be seen alone. Although large in size, the dense thickets of bamboo do enough to hide them completely. Despite their large sizes and muscular appearance, they are not completely safe, as Tigers are known to regularly prey on them!

4 of 5: Dholes/Asiatic Wild Dogs

Photo of Tadoba : Place of the Big 5 5/6 by kriti arora
Playtime. Dholes are very playful animals, and spend a lot of time playing with each other. This helps them in strengthening the bonds within the pack.

Dholes or Asiatic Wild Dogs stays in packs and are known for their amazing team work and bonding. This is in fact one of the major reason that has helped them to survive amongst larger predators like Tigers and Leopards. But, due to negligence and a bad image created by older British naturalists, their population has been adversely affected. You might be interested to know that, despite their pint size, Dholes are in fact more successful as predators than the larger ones mentioned before.

5of 5: Sloth Bear

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Baloo, the bear! The Sloth Bear is the hardest of the Big 5 to spot in Tadoba.

After seeing the dancing bears during our childhood days, it would be a great new experience to see Sloth Bears in a wild. Although they appear to be slow and clumsy, they are excellent climbers and are capable of running faster than humans! Being nocturnal, seeing these bears during the safari is quite rare. In fact, they are the most difficult to spot of the Big 5. Their favourite food, as most might know because of ‘Baloo’, is honey. But Sloth Bears are ferocious animals, and are known to attack when cornered, with fatal outcomes.