Chicago Tribune

Out of India: Tracking big cats on safari through the 'Tiger State'

I'm swaddled in a mess of blankets to fight the pre-dawn chill as I bump down the dusty dirt roads of India's Kanha National Park in an open-air safari jeep.

My guide, Prabhat Verma of PureQuest Adventures, is brimming with optimism. But it's my third trip past the park's green gates, and I've yet to lock eyes with the creature I flew halfway around the world to meet.

You can go to Africa for cheetahs or lions, but for Bengal tigers, your best bet is the wildlife reserves at the heart of the Indian subcontinent in the so-called "Tiger State" of Madhya Pradesh. Somewhere up ahead are

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