Tale of my riveting beauty in the wild

August 17, 2009 at 11:08 am (Uncategorized)

On the early evening of  10th August, 2009 on the way back from BR Hills to Bandipur my instincts started telling me that something was up for the rest of the evening. Unable to figure out what it could be I tried staying calm.

At Bandipur as I waited for the Safari to start, suddenly I heard the loud alarm call of the cheetals at close proximity. My friends said that there was a predator out there for sure and listening to that my face broke into an instant smile. 🙂 Though unsure of spotting the predator as I boarded the bus I asked god in faith to help me spot any of my beautiful wild cats.

After around 10-15 min into the safari, the bus slowed down near a water body after spotting a few cheetals.

Cheetals by the water body

Cheetals by the water body

Then all of a sudden my friend Vadi said ‘I think there is Leopard as well  by the water body!’, and my happiness knew n bounds. All of us went silent.

My riveting beauty :)

My riveting beauty 🙂

Hmmm… that was such an emotional moment that tears of joy rolled down as I had finally spotted one of favorite wild cats in the wild. And I was unable to even life the camera to photograph her. I could hear people around me saying ‘Hey! What are you doing! Take a picture, don’t waste time’!. But at that moment I couldn’t help but take a few minutes to digest the whole episode.

I finally managed to capture her on my camera. It was a female since it smaller in size compared to a male.

She moves gracefully and stealthily to the bushes behind.........

She moves gracefully and stealthily to the bushes behind.........

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As I watched riveted, she was gracefully sitting under the think bamboo bushes and focused on nothing but the cheetals at a distance. After a few minutes she got up and moved stealthily to the bushes behind trying her best not to miss the prey. But just when I thought she would make the kill the cheetals broke into continuum alarm calls sending a strong signal through the forest. Hmmm…the whole episode was like a movie in my head.

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As I got off the bus and headed to the jeep for the guest house I was silent with my eyes still moist. My friends were pleasantly surprised to see me emotional and asked what had happened. I replied with a smile and said nothing, but deep inside I know I had developed a bond with one of my favorite wild cats. Simply put ‘I had fallen in love with her’.

From the terrace of the guest house under the umbrella of stars in the night, I stared into the distant mountains of forests with questions in my head.. ‘what was my beauty up to? where was she? had she made the kill? what was going through her mind when she moved to hunt?……..’. I could sit all day and watch what she did in the wild, i.e study her behavior.

With moist eyes and a smile I prayed for her safety and that episode was the culmination of the entire journey. Like one of  my great friends says ‘nothing like watching a wild behavior…’

And yet again my instincts don’t let me down!

Take Care

Jyothi

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7 Comments

  1. Sangfroid said,

    Lucky you to have finally spotted the beast 🙂

    But what about the safety of the cheetals 😐

  2. Aarti said,

    Wow, you lucky bug got to see that beautiful creature and take so many pics…. 🙂
    Sounds like you sure had a wonderful trip!!
    🙂

    But sure is a crazy world na, the cheetals have to be on constant lookout… they live life hanging onto dear life every second!!

  3. Mohan said,

    Very well written…. your passion for what you are doing, comes through in your writing. All the very best in your endeavour!

  4. Deepa said,

    Nice sighting!

  5. Balasubramanya said,

    wow…sooper sighting…nice photographs….you deserved it 😀

  6. lakshmi said,

    wow..lucky u

  7. Eliminator said,

    Wow, lucky.

    Very nice photographs.

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