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The Lost Young Tiger

The lost tiger, or the road to adulthood

Tales from the jungle

In the heart of the green jungle, where the dense foliage formed an impenetrable dome and the air was heavy with the moisture and scents of a thousand plants, lived a family of Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris). The female tiger, the large and majestic Kama, cared for her three cubs. Every day was a lesson for them to survive in the wild.

One morning, as the sun rose above the horizon, the tiger cubs were playing in the thicket, learning hunting skills. The youngest of them, Taro, was always the most curious. His golden eyes shone with excitement as he explored new corners of the jungle. On this day, however, Taro was further away from his family than usual.

Enthralled by the traces of a new, mysterious scent, Taro walked deeper and deeper into the forest. He did not notice how time passed or how the surroundings changed. Finally, as he tiredly stopped, he realized that he was completely alone. Fear squeezed his heart, but his survival instinct told him to act.

He wandered through the thicket for a long while longer, listening for every rustle, every disturbing sound. His mother had always been beside him, teaching him the art of the hunt, showing him how to avoid danger. Now he was alone. The young tiger had to rely on instinct and what he had learned so far.

Taro weighed about 100 kg (220 lb) and already measured over 2 meters (6.6 ft), but he was still young and inexperienced. His fur glistened in the last rays of the setting sun, and his striations seemed to dance in the warm light. As evening fell over the jungle, a cool breeze brought the smell of dampness and earth, filling the nostrils of the young predator.

The first night alone was difficult for Taro. The sounds of the jungle around him – the rustling of leaves, the singing of birds and the sounds of nocturnal predators – seemed more threatening than ever. Tiger, though young, knew he couldn’t afford to be afraid. He hid in the dense bushes, hoping the night would pass quickly.

The Lost Young Tiger – Taro and mom Kama

The First Hunt

When the day finally came, Taro set out to find food. He knew he wouldn’t survive long without food. His mother had taught him how to hunt, but now he had to fend for himself. Sniffing for tracks, he came across a young sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) that had separated from the herd.

Taro moved silently, his muscles tensed as he prepared to leap. He was young and inexperienced, but his hunter instinct was strong. Golden eyes focused on his prey, he breathed calmly, concentrating on one decisive moment. He jumped gracefully, his claws ripped through the air, and the sambar had no chance to escape. The tiger bit into the neck of its prey, feeling adrenaline fill its body.

Eating the young sambar gave Taro the necessary strength to continue his journey. However, he knew that this was only the beginning of his lonely journey through the jungle. He had to find a safe place to rest and avoid larger predators. Although he was a tiger, he was still young and could fall prey to older, more experienced predators.

Taro wandered all day, keeping a watchful eye on his surroundings. Every rustle of leaves, every sound of footsteps on the ground, made him uneasy. Suddenly, in the distance, he heard the crunch of branches. He hid in the thicket and listened. They were wild dogs, dholes (Cuon alpinus), patrolling their territory. Taro knew he had to avoid confrontation with them. They were agile, fast, and extremely dangerous in groups.

As darkness fell, Taro found shelter in a dense, impenetrable bamboo grove. There, surrounded by green stalks, he felt safer. But the night was full of sounds that seemed louder than ever. The chirping of cicadas, the distant howling of dholes, and even the rustling of small rodents undermined his self-confidence.

The Lost Young Tiger – first hunt

The Second Hunt

The night was quiet, with only the sounds of cicadas and frogs breaking the silence. Taro was hungry. He had to find food. His mother always hunted at night, when her prey was less alert. He decided to do the same. He crept through the thicket, silent as a shadow, until he came to a clearing where spotted deer  (Axis axis) often grazed.

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His golden eyes caught movement. A small herd of deer, unaware, were feeding on the grass. Taro crouched, tensing his muscles. He waited for the right moment, until he suddenly moved. His body moved with incredible grace and speed. The deer, startled by the sudden attack, fled, but Taro was faster. His claws sank into the side of one of them, and his fangs dug into its neck. The fight was short. The deer fell, and the tiger tasted victory for the second time without his mother’s help.

The Lost Young Tiger – second hunt

Watering Hole and Gaurs

The morning brought new challenges. Taro was thirsty. He had to find water. Remembering his mother’s lessons, he followed the stream that led him to a small watering hole. There, hidden in the shade of the trees, he watched as various animals came to quench their thirst. He knew he had to be patient and careful. Any mistake could cost him his life.

While Taro was drinking, he suddenly caught an unfamiliar scent. He looked up and saw a large gaur (Bos gaurus), massive, powerful animals that could easily injure him. The gaur was not alone – it was a whole herd. The tiger backed away slowly, knowing he had to avoid unnecessary confrontations. He found a hiding place in the thick bushes and waited for the animals to leave. Tiredness finally got the better of him and Taro fell into a restless sleep.

The Lost Young Tiger – Taro and gaurs

Dholes (Cuon alpinus)

But the jungle was full of dangers. While Taro feasted one night, another threat lurked in the darkness. Dholes, predatory wild dogs, watched the young tiger. The pack of six saw an easy meal. They slowly approached, their eyes gleaming in the darkness.

Taro felt their presence. He hissed in warning, his lips drawn back to show his fangs. He was alone, and they outnumbered him. The dholes surrounded him, trying to pull him away from their prey. The tiger lunged at one of them, and the skirmish turned into a chaotic fight. Taro was young, but strong and determined. He managed to fend off the predators, but was wounded.

Bloodied but victorious, Taro retreated deeper into the jungle to rest and recover. His wounds were painful, but he knew he had to be vigilant. The jungle was unforgiving of weakness. Survival was hard, but Taro was beginning to understand that traveling alone through the wilderness was a test he had to pass to become the true king of the jungle.

The Lost Young Tiger – fight against dholes

The Endless Journey

He continued his solitary journey through the jungle, learning new lessons in survival with each passing day. His body grew stronger, his instincts sharper. He encountered a variety of animals, some friendly, others hostile. He knew that in order to survive, he had to rely on himself and his ability to adapt.

Each day brought new challenges. Taro learned to avoid other predators, find water and shelter. His instincts grew sharper, his skills sharper. The young tiger understood that the jungle was both his home and his teacher. Soon he would become a powerful predator that the jungle would respect and fear.

The Lost Young Tiger – Taro and Lima

Taro meets Lima

One day, while hunting, he came across a young female tiger – Lima. She was as lonely as he was, and their meeting was full of caution and uncertainty. Eventually, however, they realized that together they had a better chance of survival. Their fates became intertwined in this wild, unpredictable jungle, and Taro found a companion on his difficult journey.

Together, they endured challenge after challenge, gained food and avoided danger. The jungle became their home, and their bond grew stronger every day. Taro learned that even in the most difficult moments, he is not alone. His courage and determination brought him not only survival, but also strength he had never known before.

And so, in the heart of the green jungle, where dense foliage formed an impenetrable dome, Taro grew up to become one of the most powerful predators. His story was passed down through the rustling of leaves and the sound of rivers, inspiring generations of young tigers to survive and dominate in the unforgiving world of the jungle.


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