Monday, June 05, 2017

Farm Diary - Fauna


Krishna, our caretaker,  had come to the farm to collect mangoes early this morning, and had noticed that a string of trees next to our farm had, mysteriously, shed their mangoes overnight. While surveying the fruits strewn on the ground, he had noticed the unmistakable foot prints of elephants. Flustered, he had rushed back home, not wanting to risk a confrontation with the giants if they still happened to be around.

He returned later in the day and could discern paw prints of at least three separate individuals (he explained the difference between the marks but it escaped my untrained eye). The prints suggested that the elephants had come all the way up to our fence, and had turned around.  This was our closest brush with wildlife. A few months ago, on a trek to a mountain behind our farm, my friends and I had seen some carnivore's dung; our best guess was that it was a leopard's. The villagers tell tales of ferocious sloth bears that live in the forests behind. All I had seen were rabbits, mice and the occasional boar. Until today! While walking through the brush this snake slithered past us a mere 2-3 feet away. Unfortunately I'm not familiar enough with snakes to identify the species, but my best guess is that it didn't look like any of the poisonous varieties that inhabit our country.

Snakes under our trees and elephants right across the fence. Our next camping trip, I have a feeling, is going to feel a lot more exciting!