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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Leopard withs its kill -Nagarhole

My last jeep safari at Kabini River Lodge Jlr on 8th Jan 2014 morning was with the same group i had done the previous two jeep safaris. The group assembled early morning at 6 am and we left on the safari before everyone else toward the forest zone A and the plan was to sight the tiger pair that we had missed the previous day morning which were supposed to be moving around in this area. It was hardly 10 minutes into the forest our vehicle suddenly stopped at the spot where this group had spotted a female leopard previous evening and our naturalist Vijay and driver Anil pointed out to the same tree branch..and lo there was a leopard with fresh kill of spotted deer fawn on the branch. As we were the first jeep in position the cameras of the wildlife photographers started clicking away furiously so as not to miss out any scene that was unfolding there. After about 20 minutes other vehicles started coming to the location...however the leopard did not even budge a bit from the branch and was concentrating in eating its kill. The leopard was in this branch for over 2 hours and during this period it finished eating the kill completely, relaxed and rested on the very branch.Between all these activities it was also calling out for the female leopard whose scent was on the branch. Alarm calls of spotted deers nearby gave us hope that the female leopard is on the way and we would be able to see the mating pair but alas nothing turned up. We left the position for another vehicle and went around and just 100 meters from the spot came across a fresh pug mark of the tiger having passed that path.. tried following the pug marks but then we were not lucky to sight the tiger (however sighted by another group as it crossed their path). 






We then returned back to the spot where we first saw the leopard. It was killing for the wildlife photographers in the group and also the other vehicle and i believe each of them of my group captured over 500 pictures of the leopard eating. I also captured around 100+ but then due to my amateur's folly blurred few initial pictures ...but these images are etched crystal clearly in my mind. As the sun rose the lighting also improved and the later sequence of the photographs were much better for me. Sharing few of these pictures sequentially with all my friends so that they can also experience the thrill of wildlife in its natural habitat as experienced by me in the first place.