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Last June, when I first saw Noor, T-39, the Bengal tigress at Ranthambore, she looked like she would have a litter. Over the monsoon months of 2016, she gave birth to three cubs, all female. Noor and her cubs have been the main draw at Ranthambore since they started being seen late last year, though Noor has been careful to keep her cubs hidden for the most part.
I had the chance to visit Ranthambore in March. As it were, the night before my safaris started, Noor had been seen with only two cubs. The first morning of safaris started with Noor going on her own to look for her lost cub. There was no guarantee she would find the lost cub. She called out, and eventually found her missing cub.
The cub was in a happy mood, after what must have been a difficult night for mother and cub. The cub thought it was time to play but Noor was all business.
With the missing cub now back with her, Noor called out for the other two cubs to join her. The family of four made their way back through the forest to their den. As it turned out, I never saw Noor and the cubs that week despite trying hard. She has since been seen with her three cubs more frequently.
Noor goes looking for her missing cub
Canon EOS-1D X EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens 105mm f/4.5 1/640s 2500 ISO 0.0 EV
Noor's cub thinks it is time to play
Canon EOS-1D X EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens 330mm f/7.1 1/500s 1000 ISO 0.0 EV
Cub follows its mother
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM lens 500mm f/4.0 1/500s 250 ISO 0.0 EV
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II EF500mm f/4L IS II USM lens 500mm f/4.0 1/500s 400 ISO 0.0 EV
Noor takes her three cubs through the forest to their den
Canon EOS-1D X EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens 164mm f/8.0 1/640s 640 ISO 0.0 EV