Wednesday, April 15, 2009
After seeing the tiger for two consecutive days we thought of trying to find sloth bear or wild dogs. So we avoided the path where a tiger show was being held and took a new route. This was the hilly part of the park. While going thru this part of the forest we heard the alarm call of the barking deer but were not able to spot it in dense jungle. After traveling for an hour thru the zigzag mountainous path we entered the grassland portion of the forest, here we noticed a shinny spot sitting on the road side. We slowed our jeep and soon realized that it was a leopard sitting, looking at a male spotted deer grazing on the road side, further down the road. Our presence didn’t disturb the leopard (may be he was too hungry to ignore us or was habitual of the human presence in the park) and as soon as we stopped, the leopard started moving slowly towards the deer. Slowly crawling on the road it reached within few feet of the deer. At this time a langur (in the jungle the langur’s and the spotted deer live side by side thus acting as an alarm system against the predators) was continuously giving the alarm call of the presence of leopard. The deer was alert but was not able to spot the leopard. After a while the leopard started the final dash towards the deer. And in a fraction of second there was a cloud of dust all around with no trace of the deer or leopard. Only the sound of langur was heard. We drove our jeep a little further to see if the kill was successful. Luckily the deer was able to dodge the attack. The leopard after the fruitless attempt started to come towards the road. On seeing our vehicle he ran parallel to the road for a few meters and then crossed the road showing its splendid patterns and its full body length. After crossing the road and going inside the forest little bit, he marked his territory and disappeared into the wilderness.