Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tiger Mating.

Tiger mating. This picture is similar to any other Tiger mating picture but major difference here is that they both are male and brothers..
It's a habit in animals to prove their dominance on others they do indulge in this kind of act although this is just a simple show off no actual sex is involved in this case.
When I saw this from elephant back in Bandhavgarh my guest who is a Doctor by profession put up this story with pictures for publication in BNHS journal. But he could not answer all those questions to prove it so I think this story never got published their either.
I never tried to do that only because he told me that he will try.
These two tigers are about 26 months old and their ID is that they are B3 and B1. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

A female cub killed by a male Tiger.

This was a very typical case of killing a female cub by a male Tiger in Bandhavgarh.
B1 formed his territory in Rajbehra area and most of the area up till Sukhi Patiya was under his control. He was over lapping the territory of two females. 
One day a very eager third female looking for him entered in his territory. Soon they found each other to fulfill the need of each other.
This kept on going for another day. Second day the resident female happen to stumble upon them. She chased this intruder female. Male tried to stop her to save his mate but she was very furious. She charged on male too. When male got charged by her in revenge he charged on a softer target, her cub and killed her instantly. After this incident he left the dead body and started looking for his mate but she was chased away very far by the resident female.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Shivaji elephant in Kanha

In 1970's Bori presently in Satpura National Park was the only place in M.P. where elephants were used for logging. M.P.Forest had few elephants in British period but they were used for other purposes than logging. Forsyth used forest deptt. elephant from Bori to Pachmarhi. Bori is famous for its teak forest. So when forest deptt needed some elephants for logging they brought them from Kerala. 
As Nayar's (Mahavat of Gautam) wife aka Chachi told me that they reached Bori on 2nd August 1971 with Gautam and Shivaji. Gautam and Shivaji came from a place called Badaliyaar (spelling may be wrong) in Kerala. First thy were stationed at Dhai'n and later shifted to Bori.
According to Chachi Bori was a real difficult place to live. No market to buy any kind of food supply. We use to rely on forest deptt drivers to bring us some food supply from Hoshangabad. She remembers one C.F Mr S P Dubey who always brought Vegetables and other provisions for Mahavats. In those days Characutters, most of them batchlors, use to eat from Mahavat's kitchen. They were a part of the family like elephants.
Once the logging was stopped forest department shifted these elephants to Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park to make good use of them for Tourism. This is when Tiger show started in M.P. Baiting was allowed so every saturday forest department use to tie a bat for Tiger show on sunday.  On Tiger show only 30 Rs were charged for four pax on Elephant back. No discrimination of Nationality. All were counted as human. Gautam was sent to Bandhavgarh after spending some time in Kanha. Even Mahavir was also transferred to Bandhavgarh but he could not cope with food supply here. He thought Tala is worst than Bori. He was sent back to Kanha where nearest market was Chiraidongri 35 km away.
Although Mocha and Sarekha were rated as lifeline to get regular vegetable supply of Potato and Onions. Daal Roti was routine meal and Sabji was feast.
All those Mahavat's did pretty good job in those days. I remember Sursingh in Kanha use to go in afternoon to look for Tigers so he know from where to start next morning. His son Dharam became a very good Mahavat. But I don't think the present generation of Mahavats is as sincere as of those days. Elephants use to get good bath in the river. I remember Lakhnu in Kanha shouting on his characutter only because he did not rubbed his Elephants tusk properly. Those were the days.
Gautam's master Nayar had very good rapport with his elephant and on other side in Kanha Shabir had even better rapport with Shivaji. Chachi had better command on Gautam than her husband Nayar. Best display of loyalty from Gautam I saw in 80's only. Later when other Mahavat got him he refused to obey the command. Once a Mahavat got off Gautam to pick up Ankush, Sharply pointed Iorn rod, and he refused to get him on on his back.
Shabir in Kanha mastered his Elephant Shivaji so well that once when he killed a forest guard and deptt was ready to shoot him, Shabir walked forward called him and brought him back home on foot like a pet dog.
Since we have lost all those old Mahavats who use to take care of their animals we are loosing obedient elephants too. Indrajeet in Bandhavgarh was a living example of this. Sundargaj and Vanraj are the two young elephants which are completely destroyed by Characutters. At one time these two elephants were the first choice of every photographer who use to use Elephant Tripod. 
I have asked forest department to do some Characutter training program in monsoon so let us see which Mahavat they call for training. My choice is Shabir for this job.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Spotted Deer suffering with bovine T.B. seen in Bandhavgarh.

This is not a new case but often animals suffering with T.B are seen in Bandhavgarh National Park. Most of the animals I saw were always around periphery of the park and so the this one. After visiting Chakradhara, ghodademon,  Rampur and Lakhumar when we reached Amanallah we saw this deer standing very close to road and did not moved when vehicle by passed him. I saw it very unusual so I asked Sanjay to reverse the jeep. Again he was standing so close to the road right in front of us that I could not photograph his whole body in a frame. He was about 5-6 yrs old male, antlers in perfect shape, no velvet, blackish neck and dark black line on his back were the sign of his maturity. He must have born with Bovine T.B. A deer born with bovine T.B. will survive for 5-6 years. Luckily disease is not passed on to predator.
  They gets Bovine T B from local cattle. Approximately 60% cattle in rural India is infected with Bovine T B .

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tigress died in enclosure, Bandhavgarh.

There is so much unnecessary fuss people made about this tigress death in enclosure that it became a complete joke. These so called keyboard warriors needs to come and work in the field to understand the working system. There are three enclosures in which these three siblings are put. Each enclosure is as big as Bhopal Van Vihar enclosures for the Tigers. When I went to see that tigress in that enclosure it took me about ten minutes drive to reach the spot by gypsy. So it's quite big more than 4-5 hectares. It's complete forest and the place where postmortem was conducted it was under a tree where they put a 15x15 feet polythene sheet under shade and all the staff was standing around in shade. There were quite a few trees like that in that compound. I heard people talking about water situation in that enclosure. I don't know how they got the idea that she did not had enough water. Do people know that those saucers are automatically filled everyday by solar pump. I thought to put all this immediately on my blog then I thought that why should I drag myself in this controversy of all lies. What I was told by the staff that they gave her a live bat one day, next day evening staff saw the bat moving around in the compound. He informed his superiors in the evening so they need to get elephant first to enter the enclosure to look for her. Next morning they entered the park on elephant back and they found her dead.
Rest is the story. With all this hue and cry responsible people just wants to act immediately and in that action a Ranger and a enclosure in-charge beat guard got suspended.
These are the departmental actions so I don't talk about that.
People are talking about rotten meat is served to them. I tried to confirm it with different sources and everyone confirmed me that this is a complete lie. They were given live bat all the time. 
On 30th May I was in the park and enjoying the elephant ride in the morning. We along with few jeep tourists saw Jaya tigress walking on road for few meters then suddenly she turned right, walked along the hillock, picked up an old carcass and walked away. We saw it from the road but when we took our elephant there we could not find her. So she went to eat that meat in peace. I asked the Mahavat to check the spot, there we found a rotten piece of meat filled with maggots so that carcass she took must have been covered with maggots. So eating rotten meat is in their general habit of their life.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Skays Camp Garden

June is always a very time for us in the Garden. Getting the pits ready for Papaya plants that are waiting to be planted since last one year.We transplant seedlings in poly pack and put them in green house so when they are transferred in the ground they are ready to fruit within few months. We get home grown Papaya in breakfast almost for 6 months in a year. Kay never liked Papaya in Britain and here she dont mind them eating everyday.  Cheeku and Orange plants are doing well and so the Ber and Bananas in the garden.
I spent all my childhood summer vacations at my Mama's (My mother's brother) house in Mainpuri. Going to Baag (orchard) to guard Mango trees in day time and spend the day cooling off in Tube well pool and eating Water Melon's use to be daily routine. In those days no one cared for the summer temp. We were advised to eat lots of fruit and drink lots of water and dont worry about the heat. By Four o clock in the afternoon we need to reach home with a bundle of green fodder for buffalo and some Labheda in our pocket for kite repair. Labheda has very sticky juice that acts like a gum. While we were sitting our Mango trees we always dreamt of taking few Bale or Mulberry from others garden. In those days no one grew Phalsa around. It was a delicacy. So when I had the chance to plant fruit trees on my land I chose all those plants that I liked in my childhood.
For more than ten years I was chasing one after the other nursery to get Phalsa plants. Agra, Dhaulpur, Shikohabad, Firozabad and Mainpuri are the area for Phalsa but none of the nursery keeps plants. One farmer and Dhaulpur advised me to grow my own plants. It will be slow process but more satisfactory. I did that and produced more than 50 plants that are planted on the land now. Majority of them are fruiting now.
We were expecting a much better Mango crop than what we got this year. Dashahari and Langda crop is poor but still enough for us. We have 6 Dashahri and 7 Langda Mango trees. Dashahari will be dropping in few week time. We let them ripe on tree and drop. Langada needs to be picked just after first rain otherwise some Moth start laying its eggs in it. Dashahari are about 5 inches long and some, that are knocked by crows, weigh about 250 gms and some Langda even more.

Other fruit which we have best in the district is Lemon. We have only 6 seed less Kagazi (paper like thin skin)lemon plants. They grow so big in size that many people thinks it's Atarra, a variety of bitter lemon. Once one of my friend in Bhopal took me to market and suggested me tio buy a food processor. I said I dont need. No No you need it. It will help u a lot. I surrendered OK. So he chose Inalsa food processor, I paid. Now when we reached his home he gave a demonstration how to juice Lemons. Packed it back with a instruction that now you dont need to bring that heavy weight of Lemons here. Just bring few Juice bottles. His wife uses lemon juice for making Panir too. One of our friend every time he visits bandhavgarh takes lemons to his home and no one is allowed to use those lemons. My sisters teaches staff on phone how to make Lemon and Karonda sweet and Masala pickles so when they come it's all ready for them  Each lemon gives about 70-80 ml juice and each tree has minimum 8-10 bamboos for support. 
 Fruit tree where we have failed is Cheeku. At present we have only one tree and that does not give us enough fruit. It's like our Jackfruit tree where we have no idea what to do to get better crop. We followed all the suggestions of Pro people but no results.
We are fail;ed to make any good use of Mulberry and Guava. This year Mulberry trees were full of fruits and full birds. Pick no notus (Red Vented Bulbul) enjoyed the fruit more than anyone. Munmun and Mahi'  comment was It's pain to pick them up. That's because they never developed the taste for this fruit. Winter crop of Guava is dedicated to Parakeets. We can't save it from parakeet and we can't eat all those fruits so why not let them enjoy. Someone always gets a good picture of them from the garden.
Now we have so many trees in our garden that there is hardly any space left to put any new plant in it. Now I am planting all these trees again on our Ranchha land. 
Hopefully things will look better there in a year or two.