Yes! Bagheera, the famous character from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book has made a surprise entry into my life, filled me with excitement and joy that I felt as a kid while watching the Jungle Book movie. It was more than a thrill to see a black panther and a leopard together at the time of moonlight safari. I still remember the first sighting with every detail. On 1st February 2015 we started our moonlight safari with MS Tracy, who was the only guest on that day. We picked her up from the tree house and took a right turn heading towards our bungalow. As usual I started looking for night jars which can be regularly seen nearby coffee plantation and neighboring clearings. Suddenly, I saw pair of eyes right next to the crocodile bark tree which stand alone in this patch. To our surprise another pair of eyes glittered next to the first pair of eyes. We turned the Gypsy and tried to cover little bit distance towards these glittering pairs of eyes and we were shocked. There was a pair of leopards standing in front of us. One of them had a normal yellow coat with black spots and another one was jet black. Then what we spent almost an hour to capture these beautiful creatures in our cameras. The one with regular yellow coat seemed to be very shy and till disappeared within no time. But the black one gave us ample time to try our skills. Capturing a jet black leopard in spot light hardly focusing light till the creature was not so simple. But with help of our skillful driver who managed to drive vehicle in this difficult terrain without disturbing an animal we got some good snaps.
Elephants started visiting our resort premises regularly since the start of December. It was fun to watch these jumbos grazing, chasing each other all around the open grassland next to the lake. Sometimes we also encountered them in bright afternoons near the lake. These regular visits have given us the opportunity to start understanding them better. It is important to know each herd by knowing all its individual members. We saw every time number of elephants in a herd keeps changing. Sometimes few members of the same herd are roaming around in thickets and at times its confusing either we are looking at the same herd or a different one? Like humans every elephant has special features. Body sizes, ears, tusks, texture of skin are a few basic criteria to differentiate between them. Over time we could recognize herds by looking at the characteristic individuals in herd.
At InnTheWild, we are always trying something new. This time, come and enjoy some interesting items like Mexican Chicken Fajitas, yes deep inside the Mudumalai forest! Unbelievable right! And further more, if you like what you ate, talk to our F&B Manager, Tim Robinson. He will gladly share with you the homemade recipes we use at InnTheWild, Masinagudi, so that each time you whip this up for your kids, they will cherish the warm and wild memories from your holiday with us.
Mudumalai jungles are famous for inhabiting tusk-less male elephants. In Tamil, these elephants are called as ‘Makhna’. Because of genetic disorder sometimes male elephants can’t develop tusk at all. Such male elephants are known to be aggressive and dangerous. As tusks are indicators of health and dominant genes, these tusk-less elephants does not have any chance to mate. Recent encounters with such giant gave me an opportunity to know more about this unique elephant.
Hi there! I am very happy and excited to introduce you to some more friends from this beautiful wilderness that surrounds us in InnTheWild, Masinagudi. These animals belong to the category of pack hunters. Tactful, sleek, intelligent and simply supreme hunters in these woods – the Indian Wilddogs a.k.a Dhole. Come visit us at InnTheWild, Masinagudi and experience first hand the balance of nature and the circle of life.
Well wooded forests of Mudumalai is a home to many an insect species. Every season offers these insects many varieties of dead decaying cellulose matter as food. Old tree trunks are the ideal nesting sites for lots of these insects. As you start walking in the jungle pathways you get to see all these interesting beetles, bugs and moths, dragonflies and many more of these beautiful little creatures that inhabit our beautiful surroundings. This healthy population of the insects is also one of the reasons behind such a diverse avifauna in this dry deciduous forest. Every morning there are many birds chirping and flying around the open grassland and hopping around and picking insects. Amongst all the insectivorous birds, there are woodpeckers ranking on top in diversity and frequency. It is amazing to listen to knocking sound made by these beautiful pint sized birds called woodpeckers. Some of them are busy in carving their homes in dead tree trunks. Some of them are trying hard to catch termites and wood borers. Every species of woodpecker has their own preference, when it comes to feeding grounds.
As soon as rainy season was getting over the entire atmosphere started filling up with chirping notes of many birds. Some of them might be sharpening their voices and practicing new songs at the arrival of their breeding season. Frogs were still croaking in small ponds, lake and pot holes near streams and trying hard to attract mates to pass their genes at the end of their breeding season. Ones in morning near the on property lake, a pair of wild dogs suddenly emerged from the bushes. That day on, we started to notice this pair everyday. They were spending their mornings near the waterhole. At afternoon they used to settle down on the open grasslands. Usually one partner used to chase small animals for food while other was resting peacefully. At evenings they were playing around with each other on grass patch in front of cottages. Love was in the air!
Its been a month since the last sighting of our favourite resident leopard. It just seemed that suddenly there are no signs of this big cat roaming around. Very few alarm calls filled the air at nights but gladly this was just for a while. Sudden rains seem to be irritating this big cat around here. Or it might be waiting for its perfect timing for kill on this hunting ground. As per Kenneth Anderson, leopards are cunning and studious when it comes to hunting. Especially when there are tigers present in the same patch of the jungle then leopards are more cautious. Finally this wait came to end on 2nd October.
I set out on the morning nature walk with a few friends and was pleasantly surprised to have a large group of guests join us that day. I spent a few minutes along the fence of our resort property talking about the beauty and diversity of the Mudumalai region. I explained to our guests that spotting our “wild friends” would be purely chance and they can be lucky if they are attentive to the sights and sounds in the forest. They fully understood and we continued on our walk with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.
We were just a few minutes into our walk and to my surprise I saw a black image near the teak trees (tectona grandis), as if searching for something. I first thought it was a tree shrub, however I soon realized it was a “Sloth bear”. Read more
I had spent the day reading the “Black Panther of Sivanipalli” by Kenneth Anderson, the great hunter of Scottish origin who had settled in India and whose books are hailed as classics of jungle lore. Towards evening I engaged myself spotting the flying beauty plum headed parakeet and the stork billed king fisher. All of a sudden, in the evergreen forest to my left bordering the resort, I noticed the “horns” with a distinctive elliptical cross-section at its base, a characteristic that is strongly male. I leaped down from the machan where I was watching the birds and ran about 800 m in the direction of the horns I spotted. I could not get a clear view of where the beast stood, and when I did find him, to my surprise I found that he was a gaur or the Indian bison and was looking in my direction. It seemed as if he was noticing my actions for quite some time now. I quickly tried kneeling to hide myself. Read more