When you hear of Kanha National Park, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Most probably tiger. Even I thought of tiger only, that is, till I visited the park. I visited Kanha National Park in February when early morning air was still biting cold. Wrapped up in a fleece blanket, momentarily I cursed at the biting cold and almost zero visibility at 5:30am. Kanha’s Mukki Gate was a busy gate that morning with around 30 safari jeeps lined outside the park’s entrance. It would be safe to say that more than half of it were there for the tigers. I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to go inside the jungle with a specific goal. The entire time, had I paid attention only on tigers, I would have missed the solitary yellow-footed green pigeon sitting dramatically on the topmost branch of a bare tree, an Indian scops owl peeking at us and disapproving our presence at the same time or a sambar standing so motionless by the road side that we almost missed it. Then all of a sudden, just like that, Linku appeared, drank water, took a dip in a watering hole and stayed there for good half an hour. Linku, or also known as Link-7, was the dominant tiger in Kanha National Park’s Mukki zone. As if Linku was a lucky charm, after that early morning spotting, sighting of other wildlife species happened quick and happened a lot. 

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Link-7, a dominant male tiger of Mukki Zone, Kanha National Park
Link-7, a dominant male tiger of Mukki Zone, Kanha National Park
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Link-7, locally known as Linku
Link-7, locally known as Linku


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Forest Department's patrolling team at work early in the morning at Kanha National Park
Forest Department's patrolling team at work early in the morning at Kanha National Park
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A yellow-footed green pigeon at Kanha
A yellow-footed green pigeon at Kanha
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An inquisitive male sambar deer
An inquisitive male sambar deer
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Park visitors wait patiently for Link-7 to make an appearance
Park visitors wait patiently for Link-7 to make an appearance
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An Indian peafowl sits gracefully
An Indian peafowl sits gracefully
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An Indian scops owl
An Indian scops owl
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A crested serpent eagle
A crested serpent eagle
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A red-naped ibis at Kanha
A red-naped ibis at Kanha
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A great cormorant and a couple of little cormorants
A great cormorant and a couple of little cormorants
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The globally threatened red-headed vulture
The globally threatened red-headed vulture
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Red-wattled lapwings
Red-wattled lapwings
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A white-breasted kingfisher with its meal
A white-breasted kingfisher with its meal
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A female and juvenile hard-ground barasingha feeds on aquatic grass
A female and juvenile hard-ground barasingha feeds on aquatic grass
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A female hard-ground barasingha at Kanha
A female hard-ground barasingha at Kanha
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A male plum-headed parakeet
A male plum-headed parakeet