Nilgiri Tahr

Nilgiri Tahr
Nature Beckons you....Listen to her whispers.....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pachyderms Pass.....

It was a cool December afternoon and we were cruising at around 40km/h in our car with me taking charge of the driving.All three of us were looking intently on both sides for any movement or  squeezing of wild twigs or swaying trees.Of course we were looking for elephants.

The Herd of Elephants little inside from the road

If you are still wondering where we were,don't brood too much,as we were about to cross to the Kerala border from Karnataka.We were coming back after 3 days from a trip to Bandipur and Mudumalai.The large mammals were elusive and we were disappointed in that we couldnt spot one.Whether it was the elephant,tiger,leopard or any other wild one.

It was about 1pm in the afternoon and we were about to reach the Mule Hole check post(Karnataka) close to the Kerala border place of Muthanga in Wayanad.We crossed the Mule Hole check post and slowly moved forward.After about 2-3 kms I could see 2 vehicles parked on either side of the road.We approached them and looked to the side with expectation.There they were!

A Baby Elephant.....curious

A herd of elphants at last!They were a little deep inside and we could initially see 3 of them.All adults, munching on the grass.In about 3 minutes or so a large number of cars and two wheelers have gathered on the main road observing the pachyderms with enthusiasm.Surprisigly the elephants also were looking back at us intently.Nobody underrstood why?

I started clicking a few pictures and suddently I saw a young one popping out from behind an adult elephant,probably its mother.It was nice watching the young one munching on the grass and rubbing its body against its mother at the same time.

Preparing for the pass....

We were in for more surprise as we spotted 2 more baby elephants amongst the herd.All of them were playful and enjoyed their time out with the entire family.There was one sub-adult tusker and he was not that happy with the herd of humans gathred by the side of the main road,as he was looking strainght at us and with one of its legs scratching the ground;the classic "charging" posture.But the youngster didn't charge as he was quite far off for such an encounter.

Right in the middle....

I thought the pacheyderms would disappear into the jungle any time soon,but to the wonderment of all those watching the show,the animals slowly started marching towards us!We immediately realised that we were on their path!The pachyderms just wanted to cross the road and get to the other side.

With mom with confidence

Fortunately all gathered there realised this and made way for the animals for a safe passage.Slowly all of the pachyderms came close to the side of the road and started crossing.First it was the turn of the mother along with its young one to cross.The mother was very careful and stood by the side for few seconds and ensured that nobody is blocking their way.It also ensured that no vehicle is passing at that time.

Then another elephant along with another young one crossed,ever so carefrul with the baby enjoying its encounter with the outside world.One by one all of them crossed and excitement was in store when the young sub-adult tusker crossed!

In Tandem.....

It looked as if he would cross without making any fuss but suddently he charged a two wheeler.Fortunately the man at the handle was only idling his vehicle and quickly drove off to safe distance.The tusker in turn was only "mocking" the charge and he too thudded to the other side.

After crossing they stood there grazing for some time and disappeared deep inside the forest.Thats the time we dicided to move as well,  satisfied with our encounter with the pachyderms.

"Mock Charge"-1

"Mock Charge"-2

"Mock Charge"-3


Thudding back to the jungle after the "Show"

A few tips while driving along Wildlife sancuaries.....

1.Always remember that the "Right of passage" is for the wild animals.

2.Stop; let them pass and then you pass

3.Never stop the vehicle in such a manner that it blocks the animal's passage

4.Never turn the engine off;let it be idling

5.Never get out of your vehicles as this may turn out to be dangerous

6.Childen may get over enthusiastic and always be cautious and have a watch on them

Young tusker getting a little agitated