This is the moment a tiger appeared to be bemused as a group of tourists carrying cameras looked in the opposite direction after the animal quietly emerged in front of their car.
The male Bengal tiger was pictured a matter of feet away from the group’s truck – but the sightseers missed the moment of a lifetime to picture the spectacular creature by looking the wrong way.
The animal turned his head to look back at the tourists and appeared to be baffled as to why they had not noticed him when he emerged from the trees moments earlier.
Wildlife photographer Arpit Kubba managed to picture the bewildered tiger looking back at the distracted group of sightseers during their visit to Rathambore National Park in Rajasthan, India.
Mr Kubba said the group had been distracted by another tiger they had spotted in the bushes by the side of the road.
‘The interesting thing here is that everyone is looking behind and no one seems interested in this tiger,’ Mr Kubba said.
‘But the reason was his brother was in plain sight, but this cunning fellow just very silently came out onto the road without anyone behind him spotting him.’
He added: ‘It was a great feeling to capture this tiger on camera with an interesting image. Usually we see pictures from India with all the tourists looking towards the tiger, but here you see the opposite.’
According to latest figures there are now around 70 tigers in Rathambore National Park in India, increasing from just 25 in 2005. Across the country, there are more than 3,000 tigers.
Bengal tigers are still under threat due to pressures from poaching, hunting and from conflict with human populations.
In a similar scenario, a group of whale watchers nearly missed a rare moment when a sneaky whale popped up right behind their boat as they looked in the opposite direction.
The group were pictured waiting patiently with their cameras poised, but very nearly missed the spectacular encounter by looking the wrong way while the whale surfaced just feet away from their boat.
Fortunately, the sightseers turned around in their boat just in the nick of time to spot the huge humpback whale, before she disappeared back into the ocean’s depths, sparking scenes of celebration on the skiff.
Photos taken from another vessel show the stealthy whale poking its rostrum out from beneath the water as the group face forward, pointing their cameras at the open ocean ahead of them in anticipation.
But before the creature could disappear into the sea again, the whale watchers spotted her at the last second, with a second photograph showing their jubilation at the close encounter.
One woman standing on the boat is shown throwing her arms into the air to celebrate, while the other sightseers sit open mouthed in surprise and click away on their cameras.
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