He could see Sarangi lying on the ground in a pool of blood. He was filled with anger and was about to charge towards the poachers.
Rebel was a little dazed when the forest officials let him go.
“Where am I?” he thought. “What is this weird thing on my neck?” he wondered.
“Where has the pain gone?” He walked a few paces and felt relieved that the haziness from his eyes has gone and he could walk more steadily.
Eventually images of few days back flashed in front of his eyes. On the backdrop he could constantly hear the choppers engine.
“Oh friend! How can we trust these humans?” said Sarangi. She was a magnificent Royal Bengal Tigress. “Truly, these men are responsible for our troubles. Oh! How I wish they didn’t have that nasty thing with them that makes our friends ooze blood and die. I would have chewed them to bits then.”
Sarangi and Rebel have now reached the water hole. The deer’s have heard them coming and cautiously studied their moves and felt it safe to run away from there. Both Sarangi and Rebel lapped up the cool water and dozed off under the shade of one of the trees.
It was Sarangi’s growl that awoke Rebel.
“What’s the matter?” Rebel whispered.
“I can smell a peculiar odour.”
She was right. She had picked up the smell of burnt wood. Few men were camping in the forest not very far from the watering hole. Rebel and Sarangi knew it was time to leave. But the poachers had seen them and they fired few rounds of bullets towards them.
Sarangi got hit but somehow Rebel managed to escape. His heart was pounding. He could see Sarangi lying on the ground in a pool of blood. He was filled with anger and was about to charge towards the poachers.
But a sudden noise from the other side made him stop. It was the Forest Officials. He heard another gunshot and felt a pain on his back. He felt how cruel men were and that he too is going to die just like Sarangi.
He saw that the men who shot Sarangi were handcuffed and some men were carrying Sarangi away. He felt a little drowsy because of tranquiliser and could remember nothing.
The forest officials found that he was not hit by the bullet and was healthy. They radio tagged him and air lifted him to a safer place. When he was being air lifted he awoke suddenly and was disturbed.
Soon the chopper landed and he was released in a new habitat which was safe for him.
Few days in this place, he knew that it was a protected area where he could roam freely. He often thought about Sarangi and wondered whether she survived?
He heard a familiar growl one day while taking nap and quickly turned towards its direction. He was delighted to see Sarangi standing there majestically.
They sprang towards each other, frolicked around. Forest officials from a distance watched the two walking away towards the thick bushes.
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