They are growing fast and the male J1 (now named Johnno) is massive. His sister J4, now called Crumbie, is already as tall as her mother.
The family had spent the last two days under the great Bandhavgarh Fort hill off the Bathan road. Circling long-billed vultures indicated the possible presence of a dining spot, but little would be left for these scavengers, as four hungry teenagers would have soon devoured their mother’s feast.
Two days ago the four cubs were well hidden amongst green thick bamboo, visible only in sunlit patches, tails and ears, half faces or glancing bodies moving silently through the deep cover. They had crossed the road earlier, a multitude of distinct pugmarks marked their passage, but their mother Jaya had not been present.
Jaya follows two cubs across a park road yesterday.
Yesterday however the whole family was seen together and all crossed towards the Badhaini hill and the cool caves and shade that shrouds the hill. It was Jaya that led the family out, cautiously observing her route followed by two of her daughters. A quick stop at a nearby tree to detect any intruders or maybe their father Shashi’s wanderings and then the cubs moved off at a quiet amble across the track, Crumbie and Murphy together followed by their elegant mother. Once these three had disappeared into the forest a very portly Johnno appeared. But his slow progress across the road was soon interrupted by the interruption of his mischievous sister Trya. She rushed at him, chasing him across the road in a flash of white and orange. However she did not disappear from view like her brother but turned and walked to a prominent tree besides the road that had a certain smell of interest.
Trya – a mischievous female ‘downloads her jungle messages’ by sniffing a tree besides the road. c Jenny Horgan
Sniffing high up the tree Trya looked much like her mother, checking her territory, picking up her scented messages. After a good sniff Trya steps away turns and decides to lay a puff of urine on the bark - a suitable riposte of her own - before striding away up the road and disappearing in the direction of the rest of the family.
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