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05 April 2010 @ 11:21 pm
A trip to the Jungle  
The jungle goes mad. There's cacophony in the form of alarm calls! There's a predator around they cry. Rattly vehicles beeline towards the calls. With engines switched off curious eyes watch all around hoping to catch a glimpse of the striped cats or the spotted cats of the Panthera kind. I've been in that situation a hundred times but not once have I seen a big cat by that method of spotting. It works a lot of times I've heard and you know for sure there's one of those felines hiding in the bushes and that itself is great satisfaction.

It had been three days in the jungle. We had seen lots of wildlife but there was no hint of a big cat. Time was quickly running out and we were resigned to the fact that there would be no spectacular sighting of a big cat. The morning safari was coming to an end. We were on a boat chasing kingfishers and cattle egrets out of boredom. It was hazy and the glorious morning light that everyone loves so much was now a thing of the past. Back to camp then? Yes! The motor-powered boat moved slowly over the Kabini currents. The photographers were reviewing their day's catch on their digital screens. The boatman was probably thinking of lunch. The scientists were thinking of the papers they had to review. We were a bunch of living things not paying attention to our environment. Ideal prey candidates. And when there's prey around, they say, predators come out... TIGER! TIGER! TIGER! I wasn't sure at first. It was just sitting under the shade of a tree along the bank. It was looking at us with curiosity and disdain. We had gone very close to this beast without even noticing it was there! No alarm calls. No rattly old jeeps. Nothing. It was just the most powerful animal of the forest with the sounds of its backyard.

Every time I've seen a tiger it's been this way and each time I hear an alarm call all I can only come up with is a wry smile. The tiger spent a good twenty minutes with us before going off into the bushes. And just minutes later Spotted deer called from inside the jungle from the direction in which the tiger had moved. "There's a tiger around" they cried. We know.




Snarl!




A grazing tusker






Changeable Hawk-Eagle






A Browsing Chital stag






A Darter with an itchy neck






A Wild Dog






A submerged tusker looking at us (we were in the boat)







Grey-headed Fish Eagle






Lesser Adjutant Stork






Langur






A Langur leap






Langur's in the forest






Osprey







Osprey Take-off






A flying peacock (apparently!)






Purple Heron






A landing painted stork






River Terns






Spoonbill







The tiger when we first him






Not a happy face...







 
 
 
Melkendokamel on April 6th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
Lovely! (: