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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.

Tiger ... at Nagarahole

My second jeep safari at Jungle Lodges on 7th Jan morning at 6.15 am in the same vehicle and the group as requested by me set out with a focused idea of sighting the Tiger since a group that had sighted a mating pair in certain area of the forest. The wildlife photographers from Bangalore were apt in reading the pug marks and also we did hear the growl of the tiger we drove along the path slowly and suddenly the lone lady in the group..the wife of the wildlife photographer from New Zealand started pointing out to the tiger coming out of the bushes just 10 meters behind the vehicle.

 It came out then sat down for about 5 minutes and got up and went on to a log and stretched itself a bit and then started to walk behind the vehicle on the path and then cross over to squirt on a tree to mark its territory and then finally into the bushes across the road. I have also taken a small video of its walking behind our safari jeep which i will be posting separately. Quality of my pictures are not that good for i am an amateur photographer so please excuse me for these are for my personal album and to be shared with my friends.

Leopard sighting at Nagarahole National Park

Jan 6th 2014 evening Jeep safari at Nagarahole National Park ,my first safari during my stay at Kabini River Lodge was quite memorable one for me personally since this was the day i sighted the first big cat in the wild and it was my 19th safari in the forest regions of Mumdumalai, Bandipur and Nagarahole (3rd one in Nagarahole in the last 12 months). Our jeep had 3 wildlife photographers and it was a focused drive into the forest with the aim of sighting big cats since there has been a spurt in sightings of Leopards and Tigers in the past two days. A hour and half into the forest with no sightings everyone in the jeep keeping their fingers crossed and at that point of time our jeep driver got a call that a leopard had been sighted by another jeep and immediately we had a fast bumpy ride to the spot and here are few shots of the majestic and elusive Leopard resting on a tree nearly 30 meters away.

he moment we got to the spot it was a bit difficult to locate the cat since it was in a clutter of branches. Few snaps of the Leopard (out of numerous pictures taken) are posted. I am sure a professional wildlife photographers would have taken much better pictures than what has been captured, edited and cropped by me....but then these images are imprinted in my mind forever.