In Photos: The Tigers of India’s Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

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Ruler of the forest

The third episode of BBC America’s new series, “Dynasties,” follows tigress Raj Bhera and her family.

A powerful tigress

As a mother tiger, Raj Bhera must balance her time between hunting down prey, staking her claim on her territory and feeding and protecting her cubs. This is Raj Bhera’s second litter. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates that there are fewer than 3,100 tigers remaining in the wild. There are now more “pet” tigers than there are tigers in the wild.

Sharing a drink

Raj Bhera’s four young cubs, at about 4-months-old, share a drink from a small pool.



Tiger papa

This is Munga, the father of Raj Bhera’s cubs. His presence in the area keeps the cubs safe from other males who might kill them so that Raj Bhera would become receptive to mating. Munga has no interest in harming his own cubs.


Happy family

Raj Bhera with three of her 9-month-old cubs. For about the first two years of their lives, tiger cubs depend on their mothers for food and protection.

Observing from above

This is Biba, Raj Bhera’s daughter and the only female in her litter. She tends to keep her distance from her more boisterous brothers.

A flamboyant escape

Raj Bhera attempts to ambush a male peacock that’s in full courtship display. Although tigers are fierce predators, their hunting attempts are unsuccessful more often than not.

On patrol

Raj Bhera consistently marks her territory to ward off potential intruders. The Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve has become such a successful place for tigers that it now has an overcrowding problem, and competition for valuable territory is fierce.

Curious cats

Two of Raj Bhera’s male cubs take a cautious peek at the camera crew.

Awkward position

Although many of their feline cousins are expert climbers, Tigers aren’t that great at it. One of Raj Bhera’s young sons managed to make it partway up a tree but seemed unsure about what to do next.


Master of disguise

Raj Bhera waits for the right moment to ambush her prey under the cover of the dry summer grasslands. This mighty tiger mother will stop at nothing to protect and feed her cubs.


Article by Kimberly Hickok for LiveScience

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