The mammals of Kanha...with picture titles....

December 31, 2007

Since I felt very bad seeing practically every visitor to Kanha focusing exclusively on the tigers and not bothering about the other great sights there, my tiger pictures are going to be the last ones on this post….

Let me start with the BARASINGHA (“one with twelve horns”) or SWAMP DEER, of which there are the soft ground and hard ground varieties. Barasinghas are beautiful deer that can be found only in Kanha, and luckily, they are quite plentiful, and easily seen too. Equally luckily, they don’t often stray too close to the road, and visitors have a good distance from them, and the yelling and shouting doesn’t seem to disturb them…too much.

Here are a few shots of the Barasingha that I like.

“The Splash of Hooves”:

barasingha water jump 2212

“The Kiss”:

barasingha water kiss 2212

Here's a doe, with her face showing, and then dipping into the water for the typical feeding behaviour: "Food and Water".... Barasingha Doe 231207 barasingha doe typical feeding behaviour 231207 This photo shows the distance at which we generally saw these animals. Here the stag is roaring out his rutting call, and the doe, like many other young women in similar situations, is not impressed! barasingha mating call( the doe is not impressed) And here's a shot of a Barasingha, literally getting a "High on Grass"... barasingha with grass in antlers kanha 221207 I certainly did not see as many GAUR as I see in the forests of Karnataka, but that may just have been because of the crowds's a beautiful sub-adult... " mujhEy gaur sEy dEkhO".... gaur kanha 2212 There are plenty of CHITAL or SPOTTED DEER. Here's a photograph which goes against the usual light on the animals...but I love it because of the way the shadows go..and this IS the way one spots animals, sometimes in the shade, sometimes in the light... "Light and Shadow"... chital shadows 2212 Here's a handsome stag who has lost his antlers and seems to be doing Yoga to get them back... "Horn Please".... chital yoga 231207 kanha And here's one whose wish has been granted... "I get great reception on my TV".... Chital antlers backlit 231207 We saw several WILD BOARS.... "Why Did the Wild Boar Cross the Road? He Wanted to Avoid Obelix".... wild boar 2212 including an entire family, with babies, feeding on a kill that some predator had made... "Family Feast"..... boar and babies feasting at a predator's kill 231207 And here's one I was taking, of the intriguing patterns on the bark of this tree, when a wild boar walked past behind.... "Bark and the Boar"... boar and the bark There were plenty of LANGUR diverting us with their antics. They make for great photographs, with their silky fur and their bright eyes, and that funny wise look... "The Magus".... Langur And here's "Looking up the family tree" (ooh, I *love* my picture titles!)... langur looking upwards kanha 221207 I am including the picture of the MONITOR LIZARD here, as I don't want to put it in the birds' post, and it was the only reptile we saw there. It was a she, and she was in the CROCODILE BARK TREE (you can see one of her claws as well), incubating her eggs. We were never able to see her getting in or out, though... "Lizard in the Crocodile"..... monitor lizard in tree,kanha 221207 Then, of course, I have to come to Ol' Panthera tigris.... By the time we went to the spot where the sighting had been made, the four cubs, with which earlier visitors had seen this tigress, had gone, and she was taking her ease in the heavy undergrowth: "Tiger *Lion* in the Undergrowth" tigress lying in the undergrowth 231207 And here are two successive close-ups: "Closer...and Closer".... tigress kanha 231207

the white-whiskered tigress!

And this was the first intimation we had of the presence of the tigress and her cubs. You can see the tracks of both the mother and her cubs…and the sad thing to note is, how many more jeep tracks there are, compared to the animals’….

“Our Tracks…and Theirs”…..

tigress and cubs pugmarks 2212

We also saw the pugmarks of this male tiger, who was sighted, having made a kill near the road, but since we were allotted another route, we never did get to see him, as our route (MURPHY! MURPHY!) diverged from this area shortly before the road where the sighting had happened.

male tiger pugmarks kanha 221207

In fact, in south India, I call all tigers Communist-footed, because all I have seen here are….Tiger Pug-Marx!