Monday, November 12, 2012


After our one game drive in the park on 8th we had another chance to visit the park with our guests. Somehow I dont like to visit Khitauli or Magadhi so often. As Mr Booby Nowis said Sighting in Magadhi are not photographable. I agree with him. Driver's behaviour in Magadhi is very bad. I dont know what they learned in Driver training or they completely ignores the rules. In next few months vehicle nos will be reduced more then it will be even more calm in the jungle. Now jungle looks same as it was 10 yrs back with ten vehicles, + 5 off course, in the afternoon.
Chakradhara is still not sorted. Remval of Sacred munja or elephant grass is not the solution. As we have seen it in past few years that Chakradhara lost its moisture. So to keep the area moist my suggestion is to have broad and long fire lines in the meadow and this will give the same effect as one gets from periodic burning or uprooting of Elephant grass. Spotted deer numbers has gone down in Chakradhara. It could be because of poor habitat and they had to disburse in forest areas.
Absence of Serpent and Changeable Hawk Eagle also proves that there is something wrong in the meadow. Grasses are too tall and coarse.
Why, all of a sudden, there are so many sightings of Leopard??
Tiger population has not gone down but because Tigers in Chakradhara and Banbehi are basically surviving on cattle so spend long time away from their territory that's why Leopards got a chance to recover/survive. Otherwise Leopards always lived under the pressure of Tiger's. We hear more alarm calls for Leopard than for Tiger.
Sanjay, our Driver, is getting better and better year by year. His sighting of Hare in Chakradhara was great. We all would have missed it. Probably he saw him moving.

But in a similar case Kay's sighting of Sirkeer Malkoha was equally good. All what we could see in the bush was two white spots, under tail of Malkoha.
Somehow there are many Amla/Aonla tree, full of fruits, in the  Jungle. Looks like Ranger has done a good job this year. Villagers didn't got the chance to pick it raw for local market. Monkey's are enjoying Aonla. I have just posted a video of this on youtube and on Tiger Nation.

There were some good Sambhar and monkey sightings but nothing unusual. Vulture numbers has gone down more. If last year they were below 100 then this year they are, looks like, about 50.  So far I have not seen more than three vultures sitting on tree near Bathan. Last year there use to be more than a dozen.
I am still not happy with the guides. Most of them told me that Sheshshaiyya is closed. How it can be?? Sheshshaiyya is a landmark for Bandhavgarh National Park. Yesterday again I was told by guide that Sheshshaiyya is closed then I asked the Director and his reply was "never".
God knows how many tourists in last three weeks has left the park without visiting Vishnu statue.
I am amazed that all the hoteliers are worried only about the vehicle nos in the park but none of them has so far approached to the park authorities about fort visit. Fort is still out of Tourist Zone. Looks like everyone is worried about their business but none cares about the tourists. Present Route system is worst. Half of the roads are closed, putting more pressure on roads, increasing silt. I asked Park authorities about fort visit and it will be start from day after tomorrow.
We had three had game drives without a glimpse or any good sign of a Tiger. Yesterday afternoon when we were hardly a kilometer away from the gate we saw the jeep a head of us reversing and asking us to reverse. Bamera is coming was the only hint Pinku gave. We also reversed. We parked our jeeps at Judwani junction. we knew if he has gone in he may come out on this footpath. Noise of leaves cracking and twigs/branches breaking can be heard from more than 100 meter. First noise of leaf breaking made our head turns to each other like confirming or asking Did you hear it?? I stand up to hear it better. We knew that he is coming but "where" is the question.
I put my camera ready for action focusing on footpath. I knew if he is coming he will appear on this footpath later or sooner. Pinku saw him first or he shouted first. That was enough to put camera's in action. It was 17.15 when we saw him first. Anyone shooting on 800 ISO had very little chance of getting a picture. I was four times than that. He came, walked pass us to show us his bum end.

But no, he wanted to oblige us more so he goes straight to a bamboo bush and start sniffing.This he did only because we did not followed him down the road and gave him a chance to do what he feel like to do. Most of the drivers are Tourist / Photographer don't do that. They just push their vehicle right up to his bum. That's why you see funny ears of a Tiger. One ear facing front and other one at back. At this moment a driver of third jeep wants his vehicle to move for better position. This showed his in-experience in the jungle and greediness of the tourists who were asking him to move. Unfortunately I had to shout to stop him from causing a disturbance to the tiger.

I don't know how I was the only one who was shooting in my jeep Kay said that she couldn't see him when he was sniffing the bush. About a meter horizontal distance can make the difference in the jeep.
He stretched his neck, almost in a straight line to his fore legs. He was very interested or confused with the smell on bamboo leaves. He sniffed for quite a long period. I was expecting him to turn around and spray but he left without spraying the bush.Sighting of few seconds looks like of many minutes.
 When he was walking away towards Judwani we decided to reach gate in time. We had 5 more minutes to stay but in that excitement no one looked at the watch. Only Kay reminded us when she got dust in the eyes.
Next morning we were following his pug marks everywhere in the jungle. His pug marks were seen in Barua nala, Ghorademon, Badi Gufa, Chakradhara and he was literally seen at Banbehi and went towards Madoli camp. Shashi still proving his name.
Indrajeet is in mast or something wrong with him. This elephant had a very miserable life. He was bought from Sonpur in a very early tender age. He spent few years with a very good Mahavat in Kanha. When he developed a good rapport with his master and accepted in the family of local elephants there he was transferred to Bandhavgarh. He lost his love ones. He lost his Master. Came to a place who use to treat him with spears. He lost his dignity and status. Initially he was a discarded member of the elephant family here. Gautam was always the dominant male here. He never let him feel independent soul. At one time he was the most frustrated and temperamental elephant in Bandhavgarh. Badhaini use to comfort him. But before that he tried on Chanchal Pyari. She was virgin never liked the company of any male for that reason. One day Indrajeet pushed her so hard that she fell on a jeep, full of Foreign Tourist and unfortunately I was leading the group, got up but never recovered and died within a month.
Indrajeet looks thinner than Sundargaj or Gautam. I hope he is alright. He is a very good elephant. After Sabir in Kanha he never had a TLC from any other Mahavat here. Most of the Mahavat now are basically characutter or you can grade them below than that. Forest department never looked after their elephants properly either. Mahavats are used as a driver. They never developed a rapport with the animal they are with.

No comments: