The sky was overcast when we set out on the safari this morning. The mist made it difficult for us to spot any animals. Yet, we drove through the forest in the hope of seeing some predators as we knew that the atmosphere was perfect for hunting.  In such weather, it is difficult for most prey species to spot the hunters and therefore the time was apt.

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

As we trudged into the forest we were startled by the sight of a solitary Wild Dog (Dhole) in the middle of the road. It was quite an unusual sight as they are always found in packs. I couldn’t help but feel that something strange was about to happen.

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

On the other side of the road, we spotted another loner whose attention was fixed downhill. As we watched him, he suddenly started to jump! I could smell a rat;  as such behaviour is observed only when they are about to hunt but are weary about the presence of a stronger predator.

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

The sun’s rays gradually started to penetrate the forest, increasing the visibility by lengths. I sat atop the vehicle and scanned the forest through my binoculars; I was surprised to see a pack of them moving in our direction.

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

As they passed by our vehicle, I realized that we were of no consequence to them. They stopped by a salt pit and started licking the mud to tantalize their taste buds and absorb some additional nutrients. Much like an appetizer before main course!

We observed them for some time and decided to scout the forest for some more animals. On our trail, we saw the same pack of Dogs in two other spots. We were sure they were out to get a prey. Soon we came across four pups resting under a tree, probably waiting for the elders to return with a kill.

Like the pups the guests and I wanted to see them return with a kill but as time was running out, we decided to head back to the resort.