Wild animal encounters
I have always been a lover of wildlife. I have tried to visit the forests of India at least once during my holidays and vacations. Be it a tiger, or a peacock, I love them all. I have come face to face with some of the deadliest wild animals because of this love. And I wanted to pen down my most favourite encounters with these amazing animals and reptiles.
PIN for later reference
My most favourite wild animal encounters
Do these things really happen?
Location: Kabini (Nagarhole National Park)
“Hey! Look, there is an elephant”, said one of the fellow passengers. We were all excited to at least see an elephant, during our safari ride in Nagarhole National Park. The elephant was taking a mud bath (pretty rare sight, huh! – at least I have not seen that before :/ ).
The driver/guide replied, “It’s a Tusker, Sir!” I knew what a Tusker was (Intelligent me, Yesss! 😛 ) A Tusker is a male elephant with well developed tusks.
The driver parked our open jeep right in front of the Tusker (a distance of about 15 feet, between the Tusker and the jeep). All of us started using our photographic skills, each one of us showing off against the other. The Tusker did entertain us for about 5 minutes, with its mud bath. I was trying my luck as well, to take some good pictures (I had to post them on Facebook, you know!).
Then something unexpected happened. I had sprang on my seat and was sitting on my friend Akshata’s lap ( 😀 ).
“What Raksha madam? The way you jumped on your seat, was amazing. 😀 Where were you planning to run in this forest?”, asked the driver, laughing out loud (as loud as he could). I gave him a sarcastic laugh and rolling my eyes, sat back on my seat. My legs were still shivering with the adrenaline rush I had experienced.
When I had my senses back, I remembered that a 3 ton elephant had charged us, by running towards the jeep. And it was straight towards me! (“No, I want the best seat – front row, right next to the door”, I had fought with the driver before starting the safari) The driver had started the jeep at the right moment, because of which the Tusker had stopped and headed back to its bush (- where it was enjoying its mud bath before scaring the hell out of me – these animals are such drama, I tell you! 😛 ).
Our jeep stood there, watching the Tusker head back and hid its face behind the bushes (“embarrassed 😀 “, I thought).
Then the joke was on me (Come on guys! A 3 ton animal running towards you is not a joke), where my dear friend Akshata contributed, along with the driver.
Few more minutes passed by, and this time the Tusker got even more agitated, with us being around. It charged our jeep again. The driver analyzing the seriousness of the situation, acted very quickly and drove our jeep forward. The chase was for good 5 to 10 seconds (Amazing experience, isn’t it? 😀 😀 – my mom thinks it the other way though :/ ).
Even though I did not see any of the big cats (which was my sole intention of going to Nagarhole), my trip was definitely not less adventurous and memorable. I am glad to have experienced this amazing chase.
Unexpected adrenaline rush? Ask me how!
There are times where you sign up for an adrenaline rush such as skydiving. But there are also times where it comes to you unexpectedly. And this is a story of an unexpected one.
It had drizzled in the evening and it was time for me to take Willie out for a walk. I generally used this opportunity to call my family and friends. That evening I had called my mother.
Since I did not want to go very far from the apartment complex, I decided to stand on the footpath near the lamppost, which was right opposite to the gate of my complex. I was facing the gate.
Willie was enjoying the drizzle (he loved water) and was sniffing around. I was pre-occupied with a lot of things. One – I was talking to my mom, second – I was observing all the passers by, third – I was particularly concentrating on one dog that was being dragged by a man from the gate to the footpath, fourth – I was enjoying the drizzle as well and fifth – I was holding Willie’s leash.
After about 15 minutes, I heard a hissing sound – in an increasing pitch. Without suddenly moving, I turned back, to see a small brown snake with patches on its body, right behind my left leg. It was in a charging position – ready to attack.
In a state of panic and with little knowledge about snakes, I had quickly recollected – It was a Russell viper – one of the deadliest and venomous snakes in the world. And India is a home for Russell vipers.
Within no time, the snake had charged towards my left leg, I had jumped from the footpath onto the road and I had pulled Willie along with me – All at the same time. I had acted swiftly and had missed the snakebite by fraction of seconds. After charging once, the baby snake had curled up without getting ready for a second charge.
My adrenaline had pumped in. I was shaking and shivering with fear. Had this really happened to me or was I just imagining things? In a busy city like Bangalore, how can anyone be attacked by a baby snake and that too on a casual evening stroll? Well, it had happened to me.
It had taken me about an hour or so to get back to my senses and get the adrenaline rush down. For sure, that day God was on my side and was one of my luckiest days, where I had had a narrow escape from snakebite – snakebite from one of the venomous snakes.
P.S. The photos posted here are to provide a perspective of what I am talking about.
Almost an encounter!
Location: Harishina Gundi, Kodachadri
The waterfall was extremely pretty. It was called “Harishina gundi” which means “The yellow waterfall” in Kannada. This was the waterfall we had found while hiking in the Kodachadri national park. The water was flowing into a lake/pond. It was very picturesque and the water was very inviting and intriguing. And this is where we had almost had an encounter with a crocodile.
All my friends wanted to swim. Since I was one of the few who knew Kannada, I asked the guide “Is there anything inside that could be dangerous?” He confidently said “No! Nothing at all!” What else did we want! Like little children, all of us got excited and got into the water one by one.
Since my friend Akshata and I are not confident swimmers, we decided to only dip our legs inside the water. We both found two nice small rocks facing each other. These rocks were next to another big rock which was in the form of a cave. Rest of my friends including Rahul had swum to the waterfall and were enjoying a nice bath and splash under the waterfall.
After about 10 to 15 minutes, Rahul observed that there were few tiny heads popping out of the water and he realized they were the water snakes. Instead of panicking and giving out much information, he suggested all the others to swim out of the water and back to the path.
All of us followed him religiously and were completely out of the water. Rahul then asked me to inquire the guide again if there were any animals/reptiles in the water.
I religiously inquired. The guide looked at me with a frustrated look for being asked the same question again. After a short pause, he replied “No madam! Nothing as I said.” I was relived with that answer. Immediately the guide added “Sometimes we have seen crocodiles here. But don’t worry, crocodiles do not eat humans!”
On listening to his statement, we went numb and quiet for some time. It was almost an encounter. We had swum in a crocodile-infested water body and we had been lucky to have had no encounter of the big dangerous beast. Crocodile or not – not sure! But we did thank our stars that day.
Even though scary at that time, these animal encounters are something that I cherish. These are some of my most beautiful memories in India. I am glad that I experienced these and these will always be very close to my heart.