Oh Shit!

“OH SHIT” might have been the last words ever to come out of my mouth. Not very profound, but a pretty accurate assessment of my situation. According to witnesses, that’s what I shouted when I was charged by a tiger the day before yesterday. Okay, so the tiger was a cub and the charge may have been more of an attempt at a “pounce”, but I admit to having a moment of fear. Baby or not, it’s a tiger!

John Varty has been raising two tiger cubs by hand, with the intention of releasing them into his wild tiger population. The difficulty is that tiger cubs learn to hunt from their mothers. In this case, John Varty must be their mother and painstakingly teach them everything they need to know in order to survive in the wild. If you toss a dead zebra at a tiger cub, it will play with it but not eat it. It doesn’t realize it’s food. Teaching it to make that connection and eventually kill its own food is a very long process.

While at Tiger Canyons I had the unique opportunity to go out “walking” with the two cubs, who receive daily training sessions. They’re getting quite big now and when they play, they play hard.

Tigers love the water and are great swimmers. A dead warthog was placed in a pool of muddy water and when the excited tigers were released from the back of the jeep, it was highly entertaining, believe me.

It was a wonderful experience to watch young tigers discover their own nature. And I discovered a little about mine as well. When a tiger is running straight toward me, I shout “Oh shit!”

Enjoy the photos…

India

Pulling the warthog out of the water.

Pulling the warthog out of the water.

Those are they eyes of a tiger!

Those are the eyes of a tiger!

Playing hard...

Playing hard…

On her way to "pounce" on me. In a few seconds I would say "Oh shit!"

On her way to “pounce” on me. In a few seconds I would say “Oh shit!”

Look at the teeth on the one on the right!

Look at the teeth on the one on the right!

A lot more difficult than raising kittens!

A bit more difficult than raising kittens!

4 Comments on “Oh Shit!

  1. Great shots. I am retired and living in a wonderful conservation area called Dalyan in SW Turkey though I lived most of my life in NE England. I was at Tiger Canyons with John at the end of July and spent 3 wonderful days with these magnificent beasts. I do a great deal of writing for the Web but don’t really understand the Internet though I recognise its power. I’d like to help JV and the Project by writing and spreading the word. Any advice would be welcome.

    • Thank you, Steve! Did you get some great shots while you were at Tiger Canyons? How exciting to be living in Turkey… Like you, I’m not much of an expert at using the internet. Hopefully you can get your photos out there and inspire people to visit Tiger Canyons and help tiger conservation. Sorry I don’t have any more concrete suggestions — but sharing links is a great way to get the info out there…

  2. wonderful Indiana. You are lucky not to be home with the big storms hitting once again.

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