Game drives at the Kanha National Park always instil the adrenaline to spot one of the big cats. Its in that rush of excitement that we generally tend to overlook the other beautiful gifts of nature.
This morning, the centre stage was occupied by the Indian wild dogs (Dholes) – the most systematic & barbaric predators of the Indian jungles. As we proceeded with our drive, we came across this pack of dogs, walking towards us, in a world of their own, playing & relishing each other. To my delight, I caught a glimpse of a certain behaviour being displayed by the dogs – scent-marking! This behaviour of urinating on a substrate has a lot of significance in nature like establishing territories, eligibility to breed within the marked territory and displaying dominance over other dogs entering that territory.
Wild dogs are considered to be the most social carnivores as they often live and hunt in packs. Fascinating fact about these predators is that only one pair breeds at a time to ensure a high success rate of breeding and also so that the other members of the pack can provide maximum help and attention to the young ones. The breeding pair is called the alpha male & alpha female.
This particular pack seemed to have travelled a long way as they sprawled on the luscious greens for a much needed break. We switched off our engines in an attempt to least disturb this beautiful spectacle of nature.
The human heart is a greedy one and after about forty minutes of watching the pack, we headed out in search for more. But Mother Nature had different plans for us – sufficing our need rather than our greed!
Satisfied with the day’s proceedings, we headed back with a renewed hope to feed our greed for more the next day!