Sloth Bears and a Tusker (Bandipur Stories – 2)

We saw a couple of sloth bears from far away in fading light the first evening. The second morning, we heard that that pair had been spotted again around the same spot again. So, when we headed out on the second evening, we were hopeful of seeing sloth bears. This would be the first time we’d be seeing any bears in the wild. They tend to be nocturnal venturing out only at the fag end of the day around the time the jeeps are returning from their beats.

Again, like the previous day, we went around the jeep tracks not encountering anything. The tank where they had been spotted the previous day was visited and they were not to be found anywhere. Around this time, another vehicle passed by and said that the bears were right on the highway and were bringing traffic to a halt!

So off we went to the highway, encountering more vehicles who said confirmed the same news. Initially, there were just the bears. Then there was a Tusker that was also hanging around the highway. By the time we were close to the highway, it was back to just the bears. The Tusker seemed to have gone into the forest.

We found the bears alright. There were two of them, and were grazing peacefully. They were digging the sand, and sucking out termites from there.
Sloth bears emerging

Sloth bear Continue reading “Sloth Bears and a Tusker (Bandipur Stories – 2)”

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The Big Cat

We had almost decided not to do the morning Safari after the evening one failed to yield anything. The mini-bus had been crammed with people and almost everyone barring me and Anand was part of a family that included little kids who just wouldn’t keep quiet. There were grandmas and grandpas and we couldn’t understand what they’d be doing in the safari. It is usually a bumpy ride, not easy on the bones, and out of two hours, you just drive around amidst the trees for more than 75% of the time. Kids meant that every monkey and deer needed some stopping.

And then, out of nowhere there was the sighting of a herd of elephants. 15 minutes of beauty as they first went and hid in some bushes, keeping a wary eye out on us and then slowly came out and went back to grazing. This was preceded by a herd of Gaurs or socks-wearing Buffaloes. A lone shikra fluttered above, staying in one place by flapping its wings. The Sun looked ready to set. We figured we might have more luck the next morning and decided to take the morning safari. At least we did enjoy the experience of being driven through the forest.
Elephant herd
Continue reading “The Big Cat”