Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve Day 3...

Day Three
We didn’t have any tiger sightings this morning in our jeep. Chris and Mark had a sighting for a minute and a half. It is difficult photography as it is very common to only see the tiger in plain view for up to two minutes. This doesn’t give a person much time to get the metering and settings right. You kind of have to do it on the fly and you either get good images, or they are all throw-a-ways. Again we stopped to photograph the langur monkeys near the end of the drive.

My highlight this morning though was feeding “pumpkin”. There is a stray dog with a broken leg that was never set. She walks with a pretty bad limp, but is very sweet and doesn’t beg, so you can’t help but to sneak her some food. I’m sure that is why she hangs around the entry gate to the park. If it weren’t for the tourists, she likely wouldn’t get fed at all.

We named this stray dog 'Pumpkin' and
and temporarily adopted her during our stay.
We smuggle her food from our meals.
I couldn't put my finger on what exactly bothered me about the animals here. I think I finally figured it out. The dogs in North America are often happy to see people and get a pet and some affection even from the average stranger. Here, no one pays any attention to them, so most of them just look lifeless. They have no expressions; they just look like blank slates. The other interesting thing is that I have only seen one domestic cat so far. Apparently cats are bad luck, so no one will have them in their homes. The only cat that I have seen (except for the tigers of course) is a very small grey cat that was very skittish and I am assuming wild.

Afternoon drive- We kind of slowly wandered around the park, taking pictures of monkeys and spotted deer. We puttered around at a slow pace and the park was pretty quiet. Then we heard that there was a sighting of ‘broken tooth’ and the pace picked up significantly. We got a couple brief sightings of him through the bush, then one last sighting as he crossed the road. When he went into the bush the last time, our driver looked back and said “hold tight!” We had 30 minutes to get back the gate before the park closed, so our driver drove like a maniac to get there on time. I was trying to hold three cameras and lenses so they didn’t 

bang into one another while attempting to hold on for dear life. My colleague photographer in the front seat looked back at me and said “If anything happens my blue cross insurance card is in my passport in my jacket pocket.” I had to laugh although when we’re going that fast through the bush and on windy mountain roads I suppose it is a reasonable comment. :)

Here are my wildlife images from India.

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