Wildlife Sightings


September 11th, 2014 by Venkatesh Kolappa

Ganesha Chathurthi and the Encounter

In the last 7 years of my field experience in Kabini, I have never seen a monsoon of this nature. It started to rain heavily as we were leaving. There were around 15 guests with me, and I could see a tinge of disappointment on their faces.

elephant in Kabini

Kabini’s Highlights: the Elephants

As I explained to them about Kabini and it being one of the few parks in India which is open even during the monsoon, and considering that, we were lucky to go for the drive, they got really excited.

I also narrated my close encounter with elephants last year. Coincidentally, it was Ganesha Chathurthi, the day of the ‘Lord Ganesha’ (The elephant God).
My only hope was that the rain should not hamper the sightings. The guests were wonderful, and they had all the patience and appreciation even for birds, deer and so on. Lokesh, as he was maneuvering through the slushy roads, spotted Elephants far on the track and directed us to them. We saw a pregnant female walking on the track in our direction, and hence I stopped the vehicle and requested everyone to be calm and at ease.

elephants, Kabini

Busying Themselves…

We also saw a larger herd of 5 adults and 2 young ones, which seemed to acknowledge the lady’s arrival. The presence of two calves in the herd and the protective behaviour of the herd members and their distress calls created some discomfort to the herd matriarch. And then she reacted by raising the trunk and trumpeting, calling the attention of the herd, which spontaneously reciprocated with different vocalizations.

As a naturalist and wildlife lover, I would never liked the wildlife to be disturbed by us. Hence I asked the driver to move away gently without wanting further attention from them. But as I moved, the herd covered the calves and started charging at us as a unit. We moved far away, much to the delight of the guests. It was indeed a feast for our eyes on the day of the Elephant God, Ganesha.

Ganesha Chathurthi and the Encounter
Venkatesh Kolappa
Venkat is a Zoology graduate with a Masters Degree in Sociology. Following college, he worked for 11 years in Sales & Marketing and 3 years in the BPO industry. His years in the city only increased his passion for wildlife, ultimately resulting in him giving up his career and getting involved in Wildlife tourism & Conservation. He has wide experience in the field of wildlife having worked in Kanha and Pench National Parks. Venkat believes that the urban man has lost touch with wilderness and nature, and needed to reestablish this link to invoke the spirit of wildlife conservation. Conservation of wildlife according to Venkat is essential for the long time survival of the human race.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 2:32 pm and is filed under Elephants, Herbivores, Mammals, Nature, safari. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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