National Geographic : 1997 Dec
Lessons in living await a cub peering from its cover with steady intensity. As morning breaks, Sita takes the cub and its siblings to feed on a sambar deer she killed and hid the night before. At three to four months the cubs begin to eat meat but are still too young to hunt, a skill they will learn at 12 to 16 months. At 18 to 24 months they will leave their mother, even tually competing with her for territory. And so a new generation will prowl through Bandhavgarh. John Seidensticker, curator of mammals at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C ., has studied tigers in the wild. He deems the creature "an irreplaceable link in the process and wholeness of life," and was moved to write in tribute: Always secretive-never devious Always a killer-never a murderer Solitary-never alone.