1411 – Count the King…

The newspapers published saying “Volunteers required for Tiger Census”. Whom to contact? How to apply? Where to submit? all these questions jumbled in the mind. Few weeks later the date of commencement was also published. The time ticked… if i miss the opportunity i don’t know whether i could attend next time…

I called up my cousin with regards to TC programme, he redirected me to a gentleman called Shashidhar, it was a short notice to him all the formalities were completed he said he will try to take with him. I crossed my fingers…

Jan 22nd to 28th was the date announced by WII[Wildlife Institute Of India] it was 6 days programme, divided into 2 batches Jan 22nd to 24th and Jan 24th to 26th. Shashi called me on Jan 21st and said you are in the 2nd batch and along with you 2 other persons will join and you 3 should report to hunsur wildlife division on Jan 26th morning by 10.00am. Everything was set for the big game…

I reached Mysore on 24th morning at 8.00am and called Balasubramanya who was supposed to be my batch member in TC. Mr. Srikant also joined us shortly, we reached hunsur at 11.00am and met RFO. He was busy with the schedule, other team of batch 1 were back from TC and the discussion among themselves was hot.. “Maga what a sighting.. was it”. RFO called us and allocated our stay for next 3 days.

It was my dream to stay in APC[Anti Pouching Camp] for at least one night and hear weired sounds the dream came true not for 1 day i was blessed with 3 days.

We rushed towards APC with guards and freshened up and had a casual chat with guards asking them how was the TC going on.. how many TIGERS did they sight directly? and with the same enthuse the guards replied to our questions.

The clock ticked 3.00pm, we planned to sit near a waterhole to watch the forest activities an hour lagged the guard gestured us to the direction where a tusker came to waterhole.

The day came to an end with sighting of beautiful tusker, we headed back to APC and sat exchanging our experiences.Tomorrow early morning we had to start our trail, so everyone went for a nap.

Next day we woke up at 5.30am and started to our designated trail in search of KING.. we got an opportunity in sighting of chital, guars, and barking deers, we reached a waterhole in search of any pug marks available. We recorded few details of the pug marks and scats of the TIGER.

It was very thrilling to see the pug mark in the waterhole, the trail came to an end.To maintain the confidentiality, I am not disclosing further details like which place? APC name.. such things.The next 2 days was breathtaking, overall it was an ultimate experience, though we could not sight TIGERS upfront we were lucky enough to see its existence in form of pug marks and scats.

With heavy hearts we returned back to Bangalore.

Flickr photo stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wildlifeodyssey

Wildlife Sightings:

1. 05 Tuskers
2. 3 Wild Dogs
3. Chitals
4. Barking Deers
5. Guars
6. Malabar Giant Squirel