We were on a morning Vehicle Safari, and as the monsoon was setting in, the forest was dense. We spotted a herd of Spotted Deer near the salt lick. The stags were practicing fighting. And the Langurs on a tree were the spectators of the fight.
The weather was good and the forest was at its best. The calls of the Cicada and Hill Mynas sounded like musical instruments played to cheer on the ‘wrestlers’ (the Spotted Deer). This went on for a while, and in the mean time, the ‘Big Boss’ (a bull elephant) emerged out of nowhere.
As a mark of respect, the Spotted Deer made way for the tusker, and the ‘drama’ was over. The bull got into the salt lick and began digging the earth using its ‘indispensable tool’ – its trunk. There was another gentle bull elephant very close to the vehicle on the highway.
I have seen elephants taking a mud bath in the salt lick on several occasions. This helps protect their skin from heat and infections. As many animals require salt as part of their diet, there are several salt licks in the tourism zone that are created by the forest department.