Tigers are my favourite creatures in the whole world and I'm really enjoying the current BBC programme "Tiger: Spy in the jungle" which is tracking a female tiger and her four cubs over several years in Pench national park in India. Notoriously difficult to get up close to (for obvious reasons), the tigers are being filmed using ingenious spy cameras carried by elephants and using "boulder cam" and "log cam". We had a holiday in India a couple of years ago and spent some time in Ranthambore national park. On our last morning we were lucky enough to see a tiger (a female, walking at the side of the jeep we were in) but were so taken aback and awestruck that the one and only photograph just shows a stripey blur amongst the trees. These are stills from the progamme and show these magnificent animals, whose numbers are still dwindling through poaching, in all their glory.
My dog is amazing. He's almost 13 and has difficulty walking these days on his very wobbly legs but, believe it or not, he likes nothing better than to play Scrabble. He's always joined in, even as a boisterous pup when it was the only thing that seemed to calm him down. Obviously, he can't manage to place the tiles on the board himself but he points to them with his nose and we place them for him. He'll happily sit for hours, taking his turn, and we stick to a canine theme to keep him interested. I haven't heard of any other dog that does this. He's such a good boy.
I glimpsed my first real badger today. Sadly, it wasn't like the ones in the photograph but laid dead on a dual carriageway, another four legged victim of a road traffic accident (I assume). I hadn't realised there were badgers in this area but it was instantly recognisable. It always upsets me to see the remains of what seem to be previously healthy animals at the side of roads and, unless it's my imagination, I seem to be seeing more and more. Foxes, rabbits, squirrels, birds, hedgehogs, a deer and, of course, pet dogs and cats who have strayed have all been bumped off on local roads. And I don't even live in a rural area - far from it. I don't know what the solution is. There probably isn't one.