Dholes on a Kill

kill_1A lot happens in the deep reaches of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The food chain doesn’t stop functioning just because we fail to be around to witness it. kill_2

In an evening safari, we crossed paths with two dholes (wild dogs) in one of the sections of the jungle. Lazing around on the grass and in a playful mood. Moving around at their own pace and one of them appeared bored yawning his afternoon away.

The other one appeared a little restless. Pacing along the trail and a little alert. Not sure of which direction to head to in this lazy afternoon.

kill_3But as time passed, he became alert to the surrounding. With his ears perked up, he paid more attention to the sounds and not to mention their sensitive olfactory senses. Before we knew, he was off on his way into the bushes and the other one followed his lead unquestioningly. kill_4The playful sense about them had disappeared. It took us a while to realise that they were off on a hunt.

…And we lost them. Way off the trail, deep into the foliage where our senses failed to track them. A while later, as we were doing the rounds of the rest of the jungle looking for wildlife, we get a call from somebody in the forest patrol team. We rush to the site only to see what the dholes who deceptively appeared laid back until they disappeared in the foliage cover.

The dholes had moved away from the kill when we reached the spot. After waiting for about 15-20 minutes they came back to feed on the kill.

kill_5

Though we missed the hunt, we were fortunate to witness this endangered species feeding on the fresh kill. Taken late evening in fading light with an ISO of 10000 or more.

Published by

Sameer Jain (Kittu)

Way before I started photography, I heard the song Lose Yourself by Eminem, and the starting line has stuck with me ever since. It goes- “If you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted would you capture it or just let it slip?” This line is a constant reminder and the closest description of what I feel when I’m out on a safari or walking/trekking photographing birds. Fondly known as Kittu, I’ve been a resident of Mudumalai for three decades. I manage and run Forest Hills Farm and Guesthouse; a family run resort near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. For as long as my memory goes, I have been an ardent lover of wildlife. Growing up on tea estates and Forest Hills, has played an active role in nurturing my love for nature and wildlife. During school holidays at Forest Hills, I made full use of safari and trekking opportunities that came my way. In 2005, I decided to pursue photography with a Canon film SLR and in 2007, I went digital. The love of wildlife has taken me to various national parks both in India (Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore, Tadoba, Kaziranga to name a few) and other esteemed forest reserves such as Masai Mara (Kenya). While I keenly keep a track of birding activity at home (Forest Hills Farm and Guesthouse), one might just bump into me during a safari at my favourite forest reserve i.e. the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

2 thoughts on “Dholes on a Kill

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