Tigresses, Telia Lake, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, India
© Ashish Parmar/Alam
Famously solitary, tigers seldom live in groups unless they’re still cubs staying close to their mother. This rare streak, as a group of tigers is called, is an exception. These tigress sisters are from the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in central India, a protected area that is part of Tadoba National Park. The largest number of wild tigers, by far, live here in India, where between 70% to 80% of the world’s tiger population can be found. Russia and Bangladesh are a distant second and third.
Tigers are the largest of all cats, weighing as much as 300 kilograms, and the largest terrestrial animal whose diet consists solely of meat. They are ambush predators who hunt mostly at night, relying on stealth and strength to capture large prey like deer, boar, buffalo and even crocodiles – tigers are famously good swimmers. Mona, Seeta, Lara and Sonam, the tigress sisters in today’s image, began to hunt together to improve their chances of catching prey. This behaviour is typical of lions but almost unheard of for tigers, proving they can adapt to succeed.