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Leopards Of Rajasthan!


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#21 Dkay

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 08:12 AM

22ND NOV, 2013

 

Spending more and more time in the jungle and watching and studying leopard behavior, by now we were almost certain to catch a glimpse of the leopard. Also that these sub adults did not have a big territory and the undergrowth was getting lesser and lesser helped us.

 

By now we also realised that these sub adults were honing their hunting skills. So in the evenings, wherever there were herd of deers and blue bulls the two sub adults were bound to be there. But in all these years we have seen the leopards stalking prey but have never seen a kill happening in front of us

 

Today was no different. We saw one of the sub adults hiding behind some stones and looking intently at a herd of deers. The leopard stayed there for quite a while but the kill never happened and she finally settled down to relax.

 

Looking intently at the herd of deers

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Perhaps waiting to get darker to attempt a kill

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Relaxing

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Big festival for us, so here is wishing every one a Happy Diwali.

 

Regards


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#22 AKR1

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 11:33 AM

Fantastic stuff😀
Wish you a very happy Diwali as well.
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#23 Johnmac

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 02:19 PM

Totally Agree.

 

Happy Diwali and enjoy the celebrations.


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#24 michael-ibk

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 03:27 PM

I'm really enjoying your leopard learning curve adventures, thank you for sharing. And happy Diwali!
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#25 Dkay

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 07:06 AM

@AKR1@Johnmac@michael-ibk thank you guys!!

 

23rd NOV, 2014

 

Here leopards are the premier predators but still are very shy. Actually I personally do not like to use the word shy with leopards because I feel they are not, they are just too smart, intelligent and they analysis risk well and love to stay away from any perceived risk. So in this jungle, humans being the biggest risk/threat to the leopard, the leopards, for their own safety, love to stay away humans.

 

Leopards I feel can also adapt very fast to any situation. Quick thinking and the instant reaction to hide on sensing any risk has helped them to survive so well. We have realized that letting a leopard get used to your presence takes a lot of time and is a game of patience, a game that leopard will usually win.

 

Today again we spotted a leopard who immediately hid himself on seeing us. Luckily, she wasnt very far from us, infact she was so close that I couldnt get a clear image of her in my zoom lens

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We tried our theory of leaving her and moving in the direction of the closest water hole. And we were lucky that she soon came there and surprisingly came and sat in the open.

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She sat there for a while, it seemed she had got accustomed to us but suddenly got up alarmed only to hide behind a tree guard. We had not moved so we didnt know what had happened. But she had, as she had heard some noise from a distance and it was another vehicle that was coming so her first reaction was to hide.

DSC02714.JPG

 

 


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#26 Johnmac

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 04:37 PM

Excellent images and information.

 

Agree smart rather than shy.

 

No wonder they are so difficult to see at times.

 

You must have had excellent Diwali celebrations...  You have just come back from the future ...

 

23/11/14    :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:


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#27 Livetowander

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 06:42 PM

Fascinating information Dkay. Thanks for posting.


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#28 Dkay

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 07:56 AM


 

You must have had excellent Diwali celebrations...  You have just come back from the future ...

 

23/11/14    :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:

Thank you John!! Loved your back from the future comment, very apt. Now staying in the present for a bit more, Yes, Diwali is always special festival for us, lights, candles, sparklers, sweets, family bonding, cousins, relatives et all makes it a lovely festival. Plus my daughter is 7 years, so she is at the age where she wants to dress up. wants to involve her self in all the activities, enjoy lighting the candles and the sparklers and this year all her involvement made it even more special.

 

But, with all the loud crackers and fireworks (not even talking about the air pollution as yet) it makes it very difficult for the pet animals at home. The sound pollution is so bad that around Diwali time even the leopards go into hiding. None of our friends have spotted any leopard for the past one week or so. So I do feel for the animals.

 

 

Fascinating information Dkay. Thanks for posting.

 Pleasure!! I am enjoying posting and re living the memories my self.

 

 

Now going back to the past:-

 

24th NOV, 2013

 

We had heard deer and blue bulls alarm calls many a times before. But today the intensity and the loudness of alarm calls were different. Both Spotted deer and blue bull herd had collected at one place and were screaming their lungs out and were slowly and collectively moving towards one place. It was complete mayhem as the alarm calls were loud, were shrill and every animal was literally crying out loud. A scene we had never witnessed before.

 

We decided to check out the place where the deers were looking at. Sure we saw a huge male sitting right on the track about 100 feet away from us. This male leopard we feel is the biggest and the most dominant in the area. We feel that all the sub adult cubs that we have seen are his. He also has blue eyes hence the blue eyes of the sub adults prove that he might be the father.

 

He sat there looking at us for about 10 minutes

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But decided to disappear in the bushes later on

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QUESTION : Do you guys feel that depending on the size of the predator hence the higher or lower threat level the intensity or the loudness of the prey alarm calls will increase or decrease? Will the prey react differently on seeing a sub adult leopard and on seeing a full blown big Male leopard?


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#29 Johnmac

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 12:15 PM

Well with no tigers in your area of forest,this male Leopard is the No1 predator.

 

I do not have enough knowledge to know if the Prey animals would react differently to a juvenile or Prime leopard. I would not be surprised though that they know the difference. And your sighting tends to indicate that they reacted differently.

 

I remember one time in Ranthambhore we were looking for Star Male T28.We knew we were close to him,but he was elusive.

 

During the search we came accross 4 large sambar who had arranged themselves into a circle, approx 20 yards seperation between each other all looking out from the circular assumed defensive position. They stayed in this position for the 15 minutes we observed them and barely moved when a Jackal ran through the middle of them. Our guide said that he had only seen this behavior on a few occasions. Was this caused by the nearby presence of Star Male who is probably the largest Male tiger in Ranthambhore...?

 

Did not see Star Male that day,he was seen by other vehicles close to where we saw the cicle of Samber later in the day.



#30 aRUN

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 10:18 AM

awesome thread, tracking, pictures & info,

have heard about leopards of jaipur outskirts a bit, would love to visit some day

thanks for sharing



#31 Dkay

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 07:22 AM

awesome thread, tracking, pictures & info,

have heard about leopards of jaipur outskirts a bit, would love to visit some day

thanks for sharing

Thank you!!

 

Now back to posting after a long break:-

 

December 2013

 

December of 2013 was quite dull in terms of leopard sightings. We also got busy with our respective work and did not get time to visit the jungle as much as we would have loved to. So I managed to click a leopard only on one day

 

DSC02740.JPG

 

DSC02745.JPG


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#32 TonyQ

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 09:57 AM

@Dkay

This really is a fascinating thread with really interesting photos. It is great to see how you are learning about the leopard behaviour as the thread develops.

Very enjoyable.


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#33 Dkay

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 08:29 AM

25th January, 2014

 

After a long hiatus, we started to take rounds of the jungle again. On this particular day, we saw a one leopard but he disappeared very soon, so soon that we could not even take any photographs. After some time we heard the alarm calls of spotted deer and we decided to check that place out. Initially we just saw a heard of spotted deer that were very attentive but had stopped calling. One of the male deers in that group was looking constantly at one direction. We saw in that direction and saw a leopard trying to hide behind a fallen tree trunk. The deer were aware of his presence and hence were on their guard. The stalemate continued for about 20 minutes or so with the leopard and the deers focused on each other and waiting for each other to make the move.

 

The leopard finally did make the move and went for the kill but the deers managed to give him the slip.

 

Leopard trying to hide behind the tree trunk

DSC03779.JPG

 

The deer and the leopard (stitched panorama of 2 separate pics)

DSC03785-DSC03786aa.jpg

 

Finally the attack, that happened so suddenly that all I could manage was this

DSC03790.JPG


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#34 Dkay

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:11 AM

26th January, 2014

 

On our drive in the jungle, it was only by chance that we noticed a half eaten carcass of a female blue bull. We approached the carcass but did not notice any leopard movement around. Since it was approaching sunset, we were sure to sight some leopard, so we waited at a distance. After a while suddenly a leopard appeared charging towards the carcass and that was to scare away the lapwing that was feeding on it. The leopard still didnt approach to eat, instead waited some distance away looking at us.

 

Once it realised that we were of no threat then only it started to eat it. The eating went on for a while, and in the meanwhile we slowly inched towards it to get a better view. finally it was sunset and we had no choice to leave it at its dinner.

 

Pictures

 

Charging to scare the lapwing

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Waiting to approach the carcass

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approaching the carcass with caution

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Cautious while eating too

DSC03823.JPG

DSC03890.JPG

 

 

 


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#35 Dkay

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:16 AM

29th January, 2014

 

It was three days before that we had spotted the kill. Today we were not hoping to find anything left of the carcass and on our first round we just saw some skin and bones left. So we decided to move ahead as thought, no leopard would come to eat it. But we were so wrong, on our way back we saw the same leopard trying to eat of whatever was left of the carcass.

 

DSC03918.JPG

 

DSC03921.JPG


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#36 Dkay

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 01:09 PM

7th & 8th, February, 2014

 

On the 7th, we found another blue bull kill very close to the track. On inspecting it we realised that a little bit of the carcass was eaten. We were happy that now we would get confirmed leopard sighting for the next few days atleast. While waiting for a leopard, we started talking about never ever seeing a leopard kill, leave alone chase a blue bull, but now in the past 7 days we had seen 2 kills. We were discussing if these leopards were big enough to kill a blue bull in the first place or no. Then someone suggested that, the forest department gets the blue bull which die in road accidents around Jaipur (happens quite often) and puts them here. But we never got any evidence on our theory, so it might be happening or it might not be.

 

Anyway, we were happy that we saw two different leopards feasting on the kill for two days. But surprisingly, no leopard came back to it it even when more than half of the kill was still left. Maybe they found something else somewhere!!

 

07/02/14

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08/02/14

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QUESTION : Over the years, we have found a lot of dead (wild) animals in the jungle that the leopard has not touched. And then there are some cases, where many leopards have feasted on an animal for many days. What could be the reason? Is it that a leopard will not touch someone else's kill (I doubt) or is it that a leopard realises that this animal has had some disease, or died of an accident or something, hence doesnt touch?


Edited by Dkay, 25 January 2015 - 01:10 PM.

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#37 Tom Kellie

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 03:07 AM

post-17135-0-22630700-1416990480.jpg

 

~ @Dkay

 

That's a stunningly intense panorama!

 

What a scene to capture!

 

Thank you so much for your artistry in putting it together for us to enjoy.

 

The classic predator and prey image.

 

I feel so fortunate to have found this image, which deserves to be widely viewed.

 

Tom K.







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