Wednesday, February 20, 2019

How often do you see the Sloth bear?

Sighting wild animals in open sanctuary is just matter of luck...

Here is an amazing experience with Sloth Bear... A an article written by Mart Kok from Holland...

Me: “Is that a crocodile?”

Charles:“No. That is a rock.”

Not of to a great start.

Forme the hike up Mount Abu was heavy on the legs but also surprisingly relaxing. A trek to the top will bring you past some of Rajasthan’s best views. My trekking guide Charles took me on a lenient route which showed all the great vistas without getting all
 too steep. At the top he made me some of the best chai I’ve had in India. Few things in life beat good chai with a view.

Abu is a renowned wildlife sanctuary so if you’re lucky you will spot some of the amazing fauna the mountain has to offer. Mongoose, sambar, the Indian leopard, wild boar, hare, pangolin, and porcupine are but some of the animals that make their homes here. As
 we were making our way down, though, we had not been lucky. We had heard the call of a mountain bird and had seen, far in the distance, a bird of prey circle a lonely peak. But that was it.

Charlesapologized but I did not mind much. Nature can’t be forced. Besides, the flora at Abu stunning with camel hoof and old mango trees and spiky coral trees shooting up from tall bushes of even pointier spurge plants. But secretly I prayed for something more exciting.
 And the Indian gods delivered.

Just as we were making a u-turn on a steep mountain path, the bush next to us came alive. I saw a flash of black fur and a white face, maybe three meters away. Being the well adjusted Westerner that I am, I instinctively reached for my phone.

“Bear! Run!” Shouted my trekking guide with 18 years of hardcore trekking experience.

As I looked over my shoulder Charles was already making his way up the mountain while frantically beckoning me to follow. With three big steps I was next to him and together we rushed up the rocky path until we were far away. Oblivious to what just happened,I started laughing. Charles, still breathing heavily, decidedly didn’t. I stopped laughing too.

The sloth bear can grow to well over 100kg and 1.8m in length and is known for its 10 centimeters long, sickle-shaped claws. When they attack they prefer to target the face. Later that evening, Charles would show me pictures. It wasn’t pretty.

We don’t know why the bear didn’t charge. Maybe it was because we had the higher ground. Maybe it was because I am a particularly large human specimen. Maybe it was Lord Shiva keeping us safe.

Or maybe the bear was just enjoying the view like we were and ended up chuckling in its sickle-like claws as two humans ran away from it.In
 any case, it was an experience for the ages

No comments:

Post a Comment