A 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.
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.
But 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. The 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.
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.