Documenting the growth of 5 Tiger cubs in Pench Tiger Reserve : 2011-2013

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#16 Apr 6th, 2011, 14:23
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#16
This is going to be a Five star thread Doctor!! It's one of the most thrilling documentary I have seen in IM, Great job!! I am sure many would be hooked to this thread.

Would call you sometimes soon.

Keep Up your good works and we all are following you

Cheers!!
#17 Apr 6th, 2011, 16:03
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#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshil View Post This is going to be a Five star thread Doctor!! It's one of the most thrilling documentary I have seen in IM, Great job!! I am sure many would be hooked to this thread.

Would call you sometimes soon.

Keep Up your good works and we all are following you

Cheers!!
Thank you very much kshil.
#18 Apr 7th, 2011, 13:46
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#18
Its wonderful to know about your documentation Dr Ghosh.Will be following this thread regularly. Hope all the cubs reach to maturity and be productive. This thread will be a thrilling one to follow I believe.
#19 Apr 11th, 2011, 18:15
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#19
Thanks friends.

Now, for today's update :
I am back from Pench after another weekend bliss. This time, I was on a different mission - that to aid the forest department in their anti poaching (fish poaching) operations at Pench.

Summary of the special encounters of this visit:

Apprehended 1 poacher with the help of forest guards after some adventurous offroad driving in my new Gypsy and (after a good thrashing) confiscated his cycle, provisions, and handed him over to the department.
Badi maa with cubs, 2 leopards including one at a water hole near my quarters at night, 1 spotted deer kill, 2 porcupines, 1 palm civet, 25 vultures including one red headed vulture, numerous vulture nests.
Had access to all service roads of the park apart from the usual tourism routes . Superb culinary skills of the forest department khansama.
These days I am experimenting with HD video and the last 2 trips has already got me some glorious video moments.

Now, here's something to keep you all busy for a while:
A classical Whodunit ?

Spotted deer kill: Half day old, hindquarters partially eaten up, stomach opened up and also partially eaten, entrails separated and lying 5-10 feet away from the kill, untouched.

Question :
Who killed the deer and how do you deduce?
Tiger, Leopard, Wild Dog, any other animal ?

Other points to aid identification:
  • The encounter happened at 8am sometime this morning.
  • No pugmarks visible around the kill.
  • Kill lying in an open patch of land.
  • No drag marks anywhere.
  • Kill was being scavanged by crows and a solitary red headed vulture.
  • Deer skin unplucked.
  • Plenty of water sources and shades nearby.
  • Leopard and Wild Dog scat observed 50-100 meters from the kill.
  • No carnivore activity at the kill till 10.30am when we had to abandon vigil.



Happy hunting (sic) !!

Dr. A Ghosh

Here's a composite pic for your reference:
Name:  whodunit.jpg
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Size:  68.7 KB
#20 Apr 11th, 2011, 18:32
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#20
Thank you for sharing this with us, Dr. A Ghosh! How interesting! I enjoy reading about your experiences with the tigers, and I hope all the cubs make it to adulthood.

Thanks!
#21 Apr 11th, 2011, 18:37
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#21

most amazing on IM ever !!

Please continue n let us know wen your documentary video is released !!!
By the way what is the best season to visit Pench? And is it a crowdy NP ? And is it open in June ?
#22 Apr 11th, 2011, 18:41
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#22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post Thank you for sharing this with us, Dr. A Ghosh! How interesting! I enjoy reading about your experiences with the tigers, and I hope all the cubs make it to adulthood.

Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by meranaamjoker1601 View Post Please continue n let us know wen your documentary video is released !!!
By the way what is the best season to visit Pench? And is it a crowdy NP ? And is it open in June ?
Sure friends.
Thanks for the appreciation.
This is about the best season when you should visit Pench.
These days, with so less tigers around, you generally get to see crowds everywhere, including Pench, although the tourist management of the park is excellent. Yes Pench will be open in June too. Infact it remains closed from july 1st to october 1st every year. Let me know if you need any help.

Dr. A Ghosh
#23 Apr 11th, 2011, 19:46
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#23
Quote:
Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
Now, here's something to keep you all busy for a while:
A classical Whodunit ?

Spotted deer kill: Half day old, hindquarters partially eaten up, stomach opened up and also partially eaten, entrails separated and lying 5-10 feet away from the kill, untouched.

Question :
Who killed the deer and how do you deduce?
Tiger, Leopard, Wild Dog, any other animal ?

Other points to aid identification:
  • The encounter happened at 8am sometime this morning.
  • No pugmarks visible around the kill.
  • Kill lying in an open patch of land.
  • No drag marks anywhere.
  • Kill was being scavanged by crows and a solitary red headed vulture.
  • Deer skin unplucked.
  • Plenty of water sources and shades nearby.
  • Leopard and Wild Dog scat observed 50-100 meters from the kill.
  • No carnivore activity at the kill till 10.30am when we had to abandon vigil.


A tough Quiz Doc. Is it done by some reptiles or dog by any chance?
From your Quote @ TBHP: I am trying to get pench projected at an international level among wildlife travellers to india by starting this thread Documenting the growth of 5 Tiger cubs in Pench Tiger Reserve : 2011-2013 - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com
A sincere and praiseworthy effort Doc. Thanks
Debashis
Last edited by debashis109c; Apr 11th, 2011 at 21:42.. Reason: Quote of TBHP
#24 Apr 11th, 2011, 20:24
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#24
Dr Ghosh, you keep us tied to this thread. Keep on updating sir.
#25 Apr 11th, 2011, 20:29
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#25
Hey,

That was a nice thing to share. For sure its not a reptile. As it is a dry grass land, probably it can be tiger as they hunt and eat in open and then when they are full they jus leave the prey. But Leopards keep the dead prey behind a tree or hidden.

So what do you suggest Dr. abheek. What can be the cause.

Rohan
#26 Apr 12th, 2011, 00:18
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#26
Lets hear some more experienced members share their thoughts.

You are also welcome to take part on the ongoing discussion on the same topic on my Facebook wall www.facebook.com/abheekg

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
#27 Apr 13th, 2011, 16:53
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#27
Interesting one, Abheekda.

First, let's list down the predators which can be responsible for the kill.

1) Tiger
2) Leopard
3) Wild dogs
4) Bear
5) Hyenas
6) Jackals
7) Python
8) Any poisonous snake

Now let me give my opinion about whether they are responsible for this particular kill.

1) Tiger: Not at all responsible for the kill. Kill happened in morning, which is a tiger time but there are many signs against tiger kill. First, tiger always prefers to eat in shade or where it can easily hide its kill from scavengers. here, the kill is in open. Predator didn't even tried to move the carcass. For tiger, its a simple job to drag a spotted dear anywhere it wishes. Tiger generally stay in close vicinity of kill, don't abandon the kill for vultures. He defends his call generally. here, kill was scavenged just in 1 hr. Also, tigers always unpluck the skin with its tongue, by constantly licking it. Here, no unplucked skin. The kill is partially eaten, while predators as big as tiger always fill it tummy first as much as it can because it needs more food. Spotted deer is a small deer for him. He can finish it easily. So, tiger is not a culprit in my opinion.

2)Leopard: Morning time is for leopard activity, so 8 am time suits. Similarly, leopards don't abandon kill. It preferably drag it up the tree where its out of reach from other carnivores. It can easily drag spotter dear up the tree. No one dragged the kill anywhere. Not even tried. Means, it must be a predator of lesser strength than tiger or leopard. Also, kill is only partially eaten, means a predator with small tummy and stature.

3) Wild dogs: Kill is in open, which indicate wild dog as it doesn't have any reservation over dragging the kill in hiding. But, the most glaring indication is that, the carcass is not fully eaten. Wild dogs generally don't kill or eat alone, and a pack of wild dog can easily finish a spotted dear, they don't even leave most of the bones. Also, they always stay around the kill until they finish it off. Here, no wild dog activity around carcass after kill. So, its not a wild dog kill.

4) Python: Python swallows its kill. So, not possibly a predator here.

5) Any poisonous snake: Carcass is eaten. So, not possible.

6) Hyena: Possible as it doesn't have the tummy to finish off full deer, which is the case here. But, the bones are intact and hyenas love bones. So, not sure. There are chances.

7) Bear: Possible as kill is in open, left for scavengers after eating his part and no try to drag. but bears generally don't kill animals as big as deers. But sure, if approachable, they can kill full-grown deer too.

8) Jackals: Possible as all factors indicate a smaller carnivore, with small tummy as the carcass is only partially eaten. A pair of jackals can kill injured or weak deer. The kill is abandoned as jackals don't have the capacity or desire to defend its kill as it is afraid of other big carnivores which may get attracted to the smell of kill. They are small animals, so don't have the strength or habit to drag the kill to some place safe, hidden from others eyes. I guess they ate all they can as quickly as possible, then run away to leave the carcass for scavengers.

So, in my opinion, it can be either a pair of jackals or even a solitary jackal, a hyena or a bear. Most likely is a pair of jackals.
“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” - Paul Theroux
#28 Apr 13th, 2011, 17:54
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#28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_chariot View Post Interesting one, Abheekda.

First, let's list down the predators which can be responsible for the kill.

1) Tiger
2) Leopard
3) Wild dogs
4) Bear
5) Hyenas
6) Jackals
7) Python
8) Any poisonous snake

Now let me give my opinion about whether they are responsible for this particular kill.

1) Tiger: Not at all responsible for the kill. Kill happened in morning, which is a tiger time but there are many signs against tiger kill. First, tiger always prefers to eat in shade or where it can easily hide its kill from scavengers. here, the kill is in open. Predator didn't even tried to move the carcass. For tiger, its a simple job to drag a spotted dear anywhere it wishes. Tiger generally stay in close vicinity of kill, don't abandon the kill for vultures. He defends his call generally. here, kill was scavenged just in 1 hr. Also, tigers always unpluck the skin with its tongue, by constantly licking it. Here, no unplucked skin. The kill is partially eaten, while predators as big as tiger always fill it tummy first as much as it can because it needs more food. Spotted deer is a small deer for him. He can finish it easily. So, tiger is not a culprit in my opinion.

2)Leopard: Morning time is for leopard activity, so 8 am time suits. Similarly, leopards don't abandon kill. It preferably drag it up the tree where its out of reach from other carnivores. It can easily drag spotter dear up the tree. No one dragged the kill anywhere. Not even tried. Means, it must be a predator of lesser strength than tiger or leopard. Also, kill is only partially eaten, means a predator with small tummy and stature.

3) Wild dogs: Kill is in open, which indicate wild dog as it doesn't have any reservation over dragging the kill in hiding. But, the most glaring indication is that, the carcass is not fully eaten. Wild dogs generally don't kill or eat alone, and a pack of wild dog can easily finish a spotted dear, they don't even leave most of the bones. Also, they always stay around the kill until they finish it off. Here, no wild dog activity around carcass after kill. So, its not a wild dog kill.

4) Python: Python swallows its kill. So, not possibly a predator here.

5) Any poisonous snake: Carcass is eaten. So, not possible.

6) Hyena: Possible as it doesn't have the tummy to finish off full deer, which is the case here. But, the bones are intact and hyenas love bones. So, not sure. There are chances.

7) Bear: Possible as kill is in open, left for scavengers after eating his part and no try to drag. but bears generally don't kill animals as big as deers. But sure, if approachable, they can kill full-grown deer too.

8) Jackals: Possible as all factors indicate a smaller carnivore, with small tummy as the carcass is only partially eaten. A pair of jackals can kill injured or weak deer. The kill is abandoned as jackals don't have the capacity or desire to defend its kill as it is afraid of other big carnivores which may get attracted to the smell of kill. They are small animals, so don't have the strength or habit to drag the kill to some place safe, hidden from others eyes. I guess they ate all they can as quickly as possible, then run away to leave the carcass for scavengers.

So, in my opinion, it can be either a pair of jackals or even a solitary jackal, a hyena or a bear. Most likely is a pair of jackals.
Superb analysis and deductions windchariot.
Anybody else would like to give this puzzle a try ?
Hint: You may find pointers to the answer in the writings of Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson.
#29 Apr 14th, 2011, 14:37
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#29
Dr. Ghosh

Great to have you here at Indiamike. Have followed all you threads at Team Bhp. Great work you are doing.

Unfortunately visiting wildlife parks has become pretty expensive affair. I was just calculating the expenses for a 4 day vist to Bandhavgrah. Mp tourism hotel is about 3500 per day for a non ac room.
If you take both the morning and evening Safaris its about 5500 per day. So total about 9000. Add to it the travelling expenses and you are looking at a figure of 10K to 11K per day. So a 4 day trip translates into about 40 to 45K .

Can you share some info on
1. Accomodation options in Pench
2. Safari charges for tourists
3. Can i drive my own vehicle in the park. Its a 4x4 deisel BSIV

thanks
#30 Apr 14th, 2011, 15:07
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#30
Ohh Doctor, you are keeping us glued here in this thread, going to be one of the most hit thread soon in IM for sure, you have amazing quality of keeping readers involved in the thread. Now without much knowledge of wildlife I have also started thinking on the puzzle and wind_chariot what a nice analysis!!

Agree to EOS 100%, the Indian National Parks are becoming too costly and to some extent commercialized. Among B'garh, Kanha and Pench, I liked Pench the most just because it's less touristy and less commercialized even though its smallest among three. But the experience can be amazing with a good guide which we had fortunately.

Waiting for Doctor's own analysis in this case
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