Tadoba - Part 7

Read earlier posts here - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5, Part 6

The carnivores

Second day safari started full of hope or should I say an assured one? Kal ki appointment miss ho gayee, lekin aaj to dikh hi jaayegi!! And the start was good too. We took a turn on the left side of the main road to "Jamunjori" and the road started itself with fresh pugmarks. It looked like the tigress had crossed the road in the night and had taken this route. Ashish started navigating carefully on the road. There was a sharp turn from where the pug marks disappeared.. looked like going straight as if the tigress didn't like to take the turn ;) Vitthal bhau told that there's water body few feet away, where she could have slipped into. Waited for few minutes to check if we get any movement. No luck. Vitthal bhau's opinion was that we have lost the trail and the tigress was into the another part of the jungle where we weren't allowed to go. So Ashish decided to take us to some other part of the jungle. 

While driving on the main road, Ashish saw some excreta.. fresh.. Some wild dogs had passed from there. Meghana had reached a point - at least some carnivore to dikhega!!

Suddenly we heard the "Calling". This time it was Sambar Calling. The speed of the vehicle slowed down and we started identifying the direction. It wasn't far off and we a Sambar in the trees. Somewhat open area, but still full of grass. For some reason it was just moving within a short distance. As we moved closer, stood up in the Gypsy, we realized two wild dogs were playing with the Sambar and Sambar was either trying to escape or she wasn't able to escape. Our hopes risen. Would we get to see the hunt? But after spending few minutes, it didn't look like the dogs wanted to kill the Sambar. We also noticed some movement within the bushes a bit ahead from that position. The Gypsy went back and forth and we got the sight!! Albeit not clear. But the scene was now clear. There was third dog, which was killing a baby Sambar and the other two were trying to push the mother Sambar away!! The sound was of a mother loosing her baby... on one side I was feeling sad, but on the other side it was satisfying that I got to see some action. At a moment I was moved - someone was getting killed almost in front of our eyes and we were unable to do anything. At the same time, it was a realization that this is how the Jungle life is. Herbivores are meant for the Carnivores...

The experience spoke. Ashish and Vitthalbhau said now it will be a while before the dogs would come out of the bushes. They would finish off their hunt and then move towards water body. The jungle was thick enough not to get clear view any further and we decided to come back after some time. The trip after this was pretty uneventful, got some deer, lot of monkeys but nothing more. After almost half an hour we returned back to the same spot. Not much movement was happening. No clue if the wild dogs were still there or had left the place. We decided to wait and finish off some breakfast there itself. 

We were about to finish the breakfast, the dogs came out of the bushes. There were three dogs. If you look from behind, they looked like ordinary dogs except for a very thick tail. All three of them took the main road for few meters and as we were following them they decided to part ways and disappeared in the jungle again. Now there was no point in waiting again so we started our travel back.

And we got the news from another vehicle - there was a sighting of the tiger - some distance down the road. Again, this time it was a passenger vehicle who spotted it. We started travelling the road and Ashish saw the excreta yet again. This time it was much fresher (!!) and Ashish and Vitthal bhau were sure that it was of a male tiger (I really don't know how.. but they were confident :)) and since the tiger was seen down the road, it was kind of confirmed that the tiger took the same road - yet again - after we passed from that road. We had missed it this time too...

With not much time left for the day, we returned back to the base. At least we had seen some carnivores ... that too in action...!!


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