Showing posts from December, 2012

Elephant Attack - 2

We (wife, Daughter, Niece and I) were holidaying at Gorukana, a wonderful Eco resort on the BRT range last September. The innovative cottages and tree houses were a great experience and we decided to take a drive through the main road since the official Safaris through jungle roads were called off – awaiting the Supreme Court judgment. We did a few drives the evening, where the usual dose of barking deer (BRT is famous for its high density of barking deer population), gaur, elephants and a variety of birds were seen. As it was getting dark, we retired for the night, planning an early morning drive.

We set off early next morning, with two other cars from the resort joining us. The first was an Indica which had the senior naturalist Jadaswami leading the way, followed by a Wagon R with a couple of guests. I chose to drive my own Honda behind both. Barely had we gone post the first check point, the barking deer made its appearance, followed by the CSE’s, Peacocks and other little birds like…

Elephant Attack - 1

It was another of those wonderful misty mornings at Masinagudi. My childhood buddy Kannan and I had driven out from Coimbatore to a friend’s (Nizam’s) sprawling bungalow the previous night, and were rewarded with quite a few sightings during the night drive. Elephants and Gaur were all over the place that night and after spending a long time watching them, got back, planning a morning drive. The next day morning was as eventful as well. As we drove down the Masinagudi – Theppakadu stretch, Deer, Elephants, Gaur and even an elusive sloth bear made its appearance, as we were getting shutter happy. It was around 8:00 AM, when we were returning for a hot cup of tea. Just past Theppakad, the i10 ahead of our car suddenly veered to the right. The driver initially braked hard and was in a quandary whether to reverse or speed ahead. Fortunately, for him, the Qualis from the other side was far away. Out of the thick undergrowth, emerged this elephant, with a shrill trumpet. As it missed the i10…

We (a few close friends and their families) were vacationing at the Stanmore bungalow at Valparai last December, which is probably one of the best plantation bungalows I’ve experienced. We decided to hike across the estate one morning and the estate guards agreed to accompany us on the small trek. I knew it was prime elephant country and ensured all of us were dressed in dull colors, trekking shoes and strictly had no perfumes or deo’s on us that morning.
Just before we started the trek, the guards warned all of us that large herds of Gaur and Elephants were seen the previous evening and if we were to encounter them, we should stay bunched together not panic and never run different ways. As a seasoned forest goer, it was one of those normal briefings for me, but for many (especially the women and kids) this was a nerve wracking warning and tension began to mount. The first 10 minutes of the trek was fun, with my wife and daughter, quite experienced with wilderness and birding, …