Wednesday, 21 October 2009

India - Tigers

As part of the documentary we were making about the tiger skin trade, we went to Ranthambhore National Park, Rajastan, to see if we could film some tigers in the wild.
Our journey started at Delhi station. We had some time to spare and it was fascinating to watch the hustle and bustle of life on the platforms.

Lackeys at work at Delhi station

Seeing them carry the most enormous packages and cases on their heads is incredible. They do it all day, all for a few rupees!

Waiting for our train to Ranthambhore.

First class from Delhi to Ranthambhore. James is carrying an injury caused only a few days before after falling off his bike while heavily intoxicated!

Slumdog kids showing off to the camera at Ranthambhore station.

Two lackeys crossing the tracks at Ranthambhore station.

Dog waiting for the express train to Delhi at Ranthambhore station

Hanging out at Rathambhore National Park.

Rajhastani's have some of the most fascinating photogenic faces

Gypsy woman and child.

Gypsy painter.

Filming with the Ranthambhore Park Guards

Group picture

Filming the guards act out a poaching arrest.

As a little surprise, the guards wanted to show us an orphaned leopard which they had reared from a cub. It lived in the forest, but at night time it would come and sleep near their base for protection.
It was beautiful, though filming a leopard at such close range was frightening. Despite it being used to humans, it was still a wild animal. I took the fluffy of the top mic of the camera and just went with it, captured as much as I could without disturbing it too much, hiding behind my viewfinder I crossed my fingers hoping he wouldn't swipe me if I got too close!

Filming a panorama of Ranthambhore park. Stunning.

Next it was off to see if we could film some tigers. We spent 5 full days filming in the park, which is not ideal as we had arrived just after the monsoon season and the park was lush with waterholes, which made it difficult finding tigers.
We would arrive at 6am before the tourists and leave at dusk.

Eventually as we were driving through a back route, a tiger popped out of some bushes right in front of us!

It casually strolled along the path, without a care in the world marking its territory.

We followed this tiger for about 10 minutes.

Further down the road we came across a grown up cub lying down in a creek.

Seeing animals in the wild is a truly amazing experience. It leaves you in awe of nature and makes you realise how insignificant and small man is in the wild.
I can't wait to be able to film them again.

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