Wednesday, December 2

Elephas maximus - up close and personal

Our safaris into the jungle have always been rewarding with some spectacular sightings. So, it was with great anticipation that we drove down the Sigur Ghats in the Nilgiris to meet friends staying at Tusker Trails in Bandipur National Park.
Close to two hours and we had left the winding ghat roads and hairpin bends behind and R decided to stop and answer nature's call before we got to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. R got back rather quickly and told me there was a tusker standing behind a spindly tree. I turned and just then the large tusker stepped out onto the road and turned to face the back of the car.
I had the camera in my hand but it was forgotten as we watched to see whether the tusker would charge. Lone tuskers are unpredictable and therefore dangerous. We obviously weren't perceived as a threat because in thirty seconds it turned and crossed the road to the scrub land on the other side. That was a little too close for comfort but suprisingly both of us were calm and I remember there being some discussion about taking photographs.
It was a massive specimen with long tusks pretty much like the one in this picture and R didn't have even the slightest inkling of its presence just ten feet away from him, until, he happened to glance to his left to see if he could discover the source of a strong animal odour.

The evening safari brought more elephants. Cows with their young calves, not sure what to expect of the large contraption which heaves and jolts down the jungle tracks.

This little fellow came out of the thick jungle and was feeding quite happily, unperturbed by the rumblings of the open truck we were in.

Another pair of young mothers and calves at a salt lick. The calves are behind a thicket of bamboo.

This encounter with the elephant is another first for us and we hope it will stay that way. Any guesses what we were thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend?
Next post will be a tame one related to fiber and book making I promise.


ArtPropelled said...

You must be feeling invigorated after your close encounter and days in the fresh air.

5 Foot Runt said...

To be that up close to them must be amazing.

Caterina Giglio said...

wow! what an amazing adventure! I look forward to more stitches and books!

Chris Daly said...

Amazing. What an extraordinary way to spend the day. I'm glad you both made it safely to your destination.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful elephants. It looks very peaceful there.