As our young ones enter this world, their path has already been chosen by their elders. It is not very different for animals. They are bound to give in to their basic instincts- either become a prey or a hunter. Similarly, when baby tigers or cubs step into this world, it is destined for them to become hunters. Playing with the prey and it’s mind, that’s how their journey begins.
Tiger cubs are born after a gestation period of 3.5 months. They are born blind and hence, completely depend on their mother. Even though they can open their eyes after 6 – 12 days, they get their full vision only after a few weeks. A new born cub weighs between 785 to 1,610 grams. These cubs are born in a litter of 3 to 7 at a time. Unfortunately however, on an average, only 2 cubs survive. A mother can only do as much, and Tigress fails to hunt for all of her cubs, equally.
The tigress is very protective of her cubs, she keeps them hidden, protects them from any danger and the moment she feels that the area is threatened, she will move her cubs to another resting place. She showers her motherly love on them abundantly till they become independent and can feed themselves. A tigress leaves her cubs only to drink or hunt in the first few months. When the cubs turn 2 months old, they start following their mother out of the den. They never participate in the hunt at this stage. Their only job is to sit, observe and learn from their mother. They start playing with their siblings at 4 months and spend most of their time doing so. Playing helps the cubs develop useful skills like stalking, pouncing, climbing and swatting.
The tigress spends these two years nursing her cubs, playing with them and ensuring that they become independent enough to protect and feed themselves. After the 24 month gap, she is once again ready to conceive and play the significant role of being a mother.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered.
Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park.
Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here’s a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger.