Winners Photography Awards 2009
Tiger by Dhritiman Mukherjee
The full power of tigers Panthera tigris is apparent in this image taken in the heart of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve where a famous tigress ‘Machali’ fights to keep a younger, but much larger, male away from a hard-earned sambar kill. Males will steal kills from tigresses if they can and have even been known to kill females over food. For about 12 years now, Machali has dominated Ranthambhore’s coveted ‘lake area’ and in the process has successfully raised five litters. Such productive individuals are critical to the population dynamics of tiger habitats. Some people estimate that this one tigress has been seen by so many visitors, who then spread the good news of tiger sightings to others, that she has been responsible for earnings of over U.S. $ 10 million – much more than the annual budget of the tiger reserve.