A Lesson in Solidarity

Very rarely does one sight a leopard out in the open the first thing in the morning. Not only did we sight Pretty Girl but we soon realized she was hungry and looking for a kill. She had 2 big cubs who were unfortunately not old enough to hunt on their own. IMG_7090

The gorgeous sight of this magnificent cat, a few metres away from our vehicle, stopped us in our tracks. After scanning the area for a while, she decided to try her luck on the other side of the river. We too moved away and positioned ourselves on the other side.

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Watching a leopard preparing for a kill is a hair raising experience. Not for anything is it one of the stealthiest predators. Unlike lions, it does not hunt in a pride. Unlike a cheetah, it does not chase its prey at supersonic speed. It mainly depends on its stalking and ambushing skills. I will let the pictures speak for themselves….

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We had read about the amazing jungle radar system that protects the herbivores. The zebras have an acute sense of smell. The Thomson’s gazelles have a good ear. The baboons and monkeys send warning calls when they spot a predator. The hamerkops and rollers act like drones and send distress calls when they spot a leopard – they hate the cat as it eats their eggs. But what we did not know was how they boldly challenge their predator after spotting it!

Fortunately for the gazelle, the leopard was spotted and it started to walk away dejectedly towards the bush across the plains. And then the drama unfolded. The little gazelle alerted its mates, who followed it at a distance, and then started charging towards the leopard. We thought that this foolishness will cost the Tommy dearly but the little fellow darted across the leopard and called out to the Topi herd, who came charging at her too. Then the impalas came running. In the midst of all this, a lone buffalo stopped grazing and started to walk menacingly at Pretty Girl.IMG_6267

The way the cat scampered away for cover is a sight I will never forget. A huge group of herbivores converging on their predator who slunk away for cover. What an unbelievable show of might. What an amazing show of solidarity. My hand raised an invisible salute. And the leader of the pack was the little Tommy who was about to be devoured. The anger, the arrogance and the challenge by that little fellow was awe inspiring.IMG_6232

And I could not help but think of the war-ravaged and beleagured people of the world, especially the Middle East. Could they have triumphed if they could show similar solidarity?

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20 thoughts on “A Lesson in Solidarity

  1. Beautifully written…in fact I feel like I am actually there! The varied experiences with nature & people, in such a short time have been wonderfully expressed ! Keep going….

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  2. Thank you for sharing your African Adventure with us. The photographs are beautiful, but your words make them come alive!! 😊💖😊So glad you decided to blog. For a diehard Wilbur Smith fan I am always greedy for Africa stories. So keep them coming!!

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  3. Soma jokhon school e portam ekbar school library theke ekta boi issue korechilam. Bangla te. Besh mota. Aaj aar boi er naam ba lekhoker naam kichue mone nei. Sudhu mone ache bhalo lagata. Thokhon to kono moteo jantam na je I will eventually marry a forest officer. My days in the vicinity of forests of Madhya Pradesh will remain my most treasured memory. The last few years in Delhi have had their own benefits but my spirit feels stifled. Your blog has firstly, given me the same feel of reading my first jungle book and secondly inspiring me to jot down my thoughts during my days in M.P . And thirdly tempting me to shamelessly invite myself at your place. 🙂
    Keep writing.
    .

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    1. You must, you must record your thoughts! You have the privilege of being a forest officer’s wife and may have seen more than the ordinary mortal!!
      Pls pls pls come and visit us soon! I will love to host you. Tomar shoshur moshai jeno kothai posted chhilen? Africa tei toh.

      And finally tx so much for your encouraging words!!

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  4. Often this has struck us – there is so much we have forgotten from our animal past in our endeavour to become more evolved and civilized! Watching prey and predator collude in the face of natural disasters – recorded in plenty in the wild – shows how stupid we have become as a species. Selfishness is after all stupidity distilled!

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  5. So well written Soma… And the pictures you click are mind blowing… I feel like i m watching some professional work on nat geo… Love the fluidity of your thoughts… Pls keep writing… Looking forward to insights into all your amazing adventures ..

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  6. Wishing you a mossy green writer’s play ground. Hope you get same amount of pleasure writing your blog as we are getting from reading. 🖊✏️✒️📝📖📚👌👏

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  7. Great reading experience…very informative n the supporting pics are a real treat…keep up the good work Soma…Congrats… n eagerly waiting for more.

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  8. Brilliant writing……….this is call nature…..unbelievable, and awesome.I will once again read with my kids. Need some more update with your lucky eyes.

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  9. Leopard has always been the elusive one for us. Three outings to Mara but only one spotting…fascinating creatures and really liked your clicks and writing. Thanks for sharing.

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