Kabini Experiences

Lifescapes

October 27th, 2014 by Vikram Nanjappa

A Fight to the Finish!

I have written a series of posts about the extraordinary bond that exists between a mother and her offspring in the wild. Most often this special bond is not visible to the casual observer, especially in the case of the deer family, as it is quite challenging to read any emotion into their faces. However, on rare occasions, we get to witness this special bond manifesting itself into raw courage and this almost always involves the prospect of death.

The Mother Sambar and a Wild Dog engaged in a duel!

The Mother Sambar and a Wild Dog engaged in a duel!

A few mornings ago, during the boat safari at Orange County – Kabini, I was lucky enough to bear witness to this special bond. The characters partaking in this unfolding drama were – a beautiful female Sambar, her bewildered fawn and a pack of delirious Wild Dogs.

The Sambar getting outnumbered.

The Sambar getting outnumbered.

From the inception of the incident, the sheer number of wild dogs gave them a secure advantage over the Sambar mother – who was fighting single-handedly. The feral pack successfully pulled down the calf despite the mother’s best efforts to ward them off. The climax of the event seemed pretty obvious to us onlookers, and I pondered over the fate of the fawn.

The resilient Sambar!

The resilient Sambar!

But by the time I got off the boat and reached the spot, there was a very different scene unfolding before my eyes. The mother Sambar was in no mood to back down and surrender the carcass of the fawn to the savage pack, and fought tooth and nail to keep them at bay. Now a determined pack of dogs are formidable predators and a female Sambar is fair game. However, despite these given facts, the Sambar mother endured a heroic fight to the finish.

Very rarely have I witnessed such raw courage, especially in what was a lost cause – as the Sambar fawn was already dead and no amount of gallantry was going to change that. But what this incident did change is my perception of the deer family, for behind those inscrutable faces, there lurks raw emotion like kind you’ve never seen before!

A Fight to the Finish!
Vikram Nanjappa
Vikram Nanjappa likes to be described as an interested and well-informed amateur. He draws his inspiration from the band of men called the Orientalists, most of whom were amateurs. By profession, they were soldiers and administrators. However, today, they are remembered as giants of scholarship. Like them, his field of enquiry is ‘Man and Nature; (with an emphasis on Nature) whatever is performed by the one or produced by the other’. He currently resides in Bangalore and freelances as a writer and photographer. He can be contacted at nanjappavikram@yahoo.co.in.



This entry was posted on Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 1:41 pm and is filed under Carnivore, Destinations, Herbivores, Mammal, Nature, Predators. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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