Monthly Archives: May 2010

Hunsur Snake Encounters

With my legs still itchy from numerous tick bites i received from my Bhadra trip a week ago, i started off to Hunsur for a Snake handling camp. This was conducted by Gerry Martin Project. The aim was to learn about snakes and snake handling. This would be the first time for me to actually learn about these creatures. On friday morning, i picked up Sharada, Asha, Arun and Neerav and started off to camp. 3 hours later we reached the camp. Our camp coordinator, Chaitanya had not yet arrived and so we were loitering around. The farm belonged to Gerry Martin a well know Herpetologist. Chaitanya, former IBMer, introduced us to other two participants Adam Blair and Dinesh.  The schedule was simple.

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Bhadra – Elephant Census 2010

Recently i got an opportunity to volunteer for Elephant census at Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary. Its a 4 day work with first day dedicated to training.  We were a group of 7 people who went together. Overall there were about 100 odd volunteers including forest guard. The methodology of the census were explained to us on the first day. I don’t want to go into the details as its already explained in my friends blog post. Once we reached our camps we were split up into small groups for tracking.

Day 1: I was to record direct sighting in terms of numbers in the sheet provided. I was accompanied by a forest guard and young boy who knew in and out of the forest. He had an machete to cut through the woods to make path for us to follow. The forest was really dense and we got lost a couple of times and had to find alternate path. Not a very promising start, but i had my trust on these folks to lead me. At the start it looked like every route we took disappeared after a while. I was told in the training that the forest is so dense that even if an elephant is 5ft away its almost impossible to see. I began to realize that its not possible to sight elephants unless we reach less denser patches. After a walk for about 20 mins i was feeling very tired.  Iam aware that my fitness level has come down and this had become a mental block for me. I also realized that i was climbing an incline of about 60 deg adding to my problem.  Suddenly everybody stopped and i was holding my breath to stay silent. The boy with a machete called me to show a Hump Nosed Pit Viper.

Hump Necked Pit Viper - Photo By Rajni Singh

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