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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A blind date with endangered species


Many travel to explore, some to rid boredom and a few to learn. But I travel for Self Exploration. My bucket list always consists of places of pilgrimages like Rishikesh, Haridwar, Uttarkashi, Vrindavan, Puri, Rameshwaram etc. My travel inspiration is always to meditate, to do yoga and to realise Self. I am quite open-minded person therefore this time I decided to go on a blind date, without planning, going to a place that is unknown, to have rewarding and unforgettable experiences. #TheBlindList can be exploring the unknown places in the world, #SayYesToTheWorld where nobody has reached before, experiencing nature to have enriching moments and spine thrilling adventures.

I went alone in hills covered with forests with my camera, telescope and a water bottle. Leaving the main road, I started walking on the steep rocks. Reaching a considerable height, upon a flat rock I adjusted my telescope for some bird watching. I was trying to focus on a pied wagtail but it was focused on sociable lapwing. My poor focusing capability and my good luck to spot it. I watched the movements of this critically endangered species for near about two minutes! Then a pair of saras crane came and started feeding upon weeds. I watched this spectacular event of a vulnerable species with my naked eyes. I was distracted by a hissing sound behind me. As I was alone I was extra careful. I turned around and spotted a king cobra coming out of bushes. I froze not out of fear but out of precaution that I become untraceable for snake. It could recognise only vibrations on ground made by feet. Another king cobra appeared. My good luck a pair of vulnerable species and my bad luck I have nothing to protect myself from these two venomous snakes. To my relief, they rolled down the rocks. On reaching ground, they coiled around each other. One of them lifted its head from the ground. The other coiled around the other. One over the other, in the air, on the ground, in the grass and on the rock; together they were everywhere. They were dancing or fighting, kissing each other or attacking each other whatever they were doing but I couldn’t kept my eyes off them. From nowhere a green peafowl came, grabbed another snake and flew away. The two stopped fighting and went away in two different directions because of fear or because of sudden disappearance of the reason of their fight!   

Before green peafowl (endangered species) could find a strong branch to adjust itself, a leopard attacked it. To protect itself from sudden attack, it released its grip. The leopard, a vulnerable species put its claws on its fleshy body. The bird tried to fly. They both rolled in air and fell on the nearby bushes. The sloth bear, a vulnerable species made a loud noise when its sleep got disturbed. Moreover, it slapped leopard that in haste lost its control over its prey. The family of smooth coated otters (vulnerable species) attacked the snake that fell nearby. After finishing their meal, the adults were giving swimming lessons to the young ones in the nearby wetland. An adult otter stood on its two hind legs, looked towards me and winked. It dived back in water. I was so much mesmerised that I forgot to shot such interesting incidents.

Meanwhile the sun moved down. I started my journey back. I felt a sticky thing on my leg. An Indian pangolin (endangered species) was licking with its long, very long tongue! I took out my camera to make a video but my conscience stopped me because after sharing it on social media, many would want to kill it for its beautiful shiny skin. I wanted to save it from being killed so I put camera back in my bag. I captured the movement and activity of that animal in my memories forever. Let us live and let them live!

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