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Tips to spot wild cats in jungles

Apr 30, 2008 04:11 PM 4238 views

(Updated Jul 24, 2012 09:28 PM)

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First of all as a Disclaimer I would like to mention that these tips may not  always help you in spotting leopards or tigers but neverthless has worked for me many a times and if any one has more inputs or would wish to differ, you are welcome.


First and foremost, if you are travelling to the jungle for the sole purpose of spotting wildlife you need to follow a few basic things




  1. Wear clothes which are comfortable and not to bright . Avoid shades of reds, oranges, and white and stick to shades of greens or browns.




  2. Stay quiet during your trips into the jungle, while on a trek or while on a safari. Voices carry very far into the jungle and especially human voices  drves away animals into hiding. Basically keep your mouthshut and eyes open!






3.Make sure to tell your guide or driver that  you are eager to spot a wild cat and show enthusiasm in everything he tells you.  The guide will make a sincere effort to take you to places in the forests where  wildcats are usually found.




  1. After the above tips are followed, and during your many safari trips, you are likely to hear alarm calls of the Cheetal, or sambar or even the macaque and thats when you need to ask the driver to stop the jeep and ask him to take you closer to the origin of the alarm call. The driver if pleased with your enthusiasm will take you there. Mind you the alarm call maybe because of a wild cat on the move or even a snake. So don't have your hopes too high but keep hoping neverthless. Make sure that the diver switches off his engine and parks a little far from where the calls originate so as not to frighten the animal. wait for at least 5-10 minutes and scan the spot without any whispering or talking. It is likely that you will spot the elusive wild cat.




If the alarm call is from a macaque near a waterhole then you have a  80% chance of sighting a wildcat.Provided you have followed the above tips.


A good time to spot wild cats is during the mating season-  in kabini and Bandipur.




  1. If you spot a wild cat, then please dont make strange noises to get a better shot with your new Canon D 70  or throw things at it.




  2. Last but not the least when you have spotted the wild cat, do give the giude a good"pat on the back" and a  small tip. It encourges him to do better next time or he might even make sure that the noisy crowd does not join you in the same jeep next time.






I have been fortunate enough to spot quite a few  leopards and tigercubs  in Bandipur, leopards in BR hills and a few tigers in Kabini.


There are a few DO NOTs in the jungle to be followed.




  1. Do not go to have a party in the jungle making loud noises and spoil the serene surroundings.




  2. Do not get out of your vehicle at any point of time(unless told to do so by your guide) even on the roads inside the Sanctuary, it is very dangerous and foolish to do so.




  3. Do not feed the animals there.






Well, I hope a few of you out there will benefit by these tips. Please feel free to add to my tips or if you want to contradict these tips or correct them, I will be glad to do so if they are tried and tested.


Cheers!



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