Snippets from the wild

Travelling to the wildlands of Indian wilderness is a moving experience especially if you get to capture in-frame nature at its best.

The Stag at Twilight


The sun was setting on the meadows of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve as I was heading back from the first safari after a great sighting of Tigress Choti Tara. On our way back we came across a Sambar deer pair. The female vanished instantly into the woods at the vehicle sound while the bold male stood there even when the gypsy came close to him. The soft evening light falling on his glistening brown coat and rugged antlers were completely majestic. Though commonly found in the Indian forests; the Sambar deer has been listed as a Vulnerable species. Habitat loss and hunting are the contributing factors in their population decline. The Sambar deer acts as a major prey base for big cats like Tigers and Asiatic lions. Though big cats are considered as star attractions of the jungle, the other jungle denizens offer some amazing photographic moments like these. The healthy number of these denizens play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of the environment.

Scavenger at Rest


Bandhavgarh National Park is considered as one of the best places to see vultures. Apart from being a well-known tiger habitat; the Critically endangered Indian vultures are seen in good numbers at this place. In my last safari, I was fortunate to see a committee of Indian vultures roosting in the meadows; displaying their huge wingspans while as a lone Red-headed vulture was sitting on the ground. The scene suddenly changed when an unexpected visitor entered the frame. A lone Golden jackal stormed in the group, chasing the birds away. Some of the vultures fled to nearby trees where we followed them. Three vultures were perched on a tree and were engaged in preening activity. This image was captured when one of them momentarily turned before returning to preening. Vultures play a vital role in nature by consuming carcasses thus decreasing pollution and disease spread. The Diclofenac poisoning has reduced their numbers drastically thus affecting the environmental balance. The conservation of this magnificent species is vital for maintaining ecological harmony as well as for the human race.


The Queen on the Prowl


When it comes to the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, there is one tigress that cannot be missed by any wildlife lover. Maya also is known as T12, is perhaps the most popular and legendary tigress of Tadoba. She is known to be very comfortable around gypsies and gives us some of the best moments when in front of the camera with the noise of the shutter continuously filling the air. I recently visited Tadoba, hoping to see this majestic queen. She was moving around in her territory with her two young cubs and the sighting was common. But for the first two safaris, she and her cubs eluded us. At last on our third safari, as we were waiting for her movement; the Sambar’s alarm call announced the presence of a big cat in the area. After 2 days of disappearances, Maya surprised us by suddenly entering through the thickets close to our vehicle. She walked further ahead as the number of gypsies followed her in frenzy. On the way, she stopped briefly and turned to look around her surroundings. In a few seconds, she vanished in the deep jungle as suddenly as she had appeared out of it.

About the Author /

Alok Katkar is a commercial photographer and graphic designer based in Pune. Apart from the commercial side, he is passionate about wildlife and travel photography. His primary interest lies in bird photography, which he has been pursuing for the last four years. His work has been featured in several exhibitions and national platforms.

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