Hello Friends, I am back again to tell you more about Kabini’s own Bagheera, the black panther. In my previous blog, I had mentioned that I would be sharing my rendezvous moments with this Black Panther in three parts. As promised, here’s the second blog on this Big Black Cat of Kabini, the magical.

Yes , you read it right… Its indeed magical, for Kabini, the quintessential part of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, is a home to numerous species of Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and no matter how much we try to understand them and the forest, life here is always evanescent and mystical.

A black panther, like any other leopard, loves to be on the trees, an abode, a home of sorts. These leopards rule the trees of Kabini which is also known as the Leopard capital of India. Black panthers are not only charismatic but also very agile and are born climbers. They are the best climbers compared to other big cats and their strong muscular limbs and retractable claws help them climb these trees effortlessly. Their tail play a very important role to balance on even the thinnest of the branches of a tree. The below image is a classic example how comfortable these leopards are while perched on a tree top.

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The Black Panther of Kabini – Photograph: Sheshadri Vasan

 

A pleasant morning it was, monsoon clouds had just vanished and the rain kissed forest ground was smelling fresh and that nip in the air got me out of sleepy mood. I started diving towards the place where the Black Panther, whom I fondly refer as The King of Darkness, was last seen a couple of days ago.

A group of Bonnet Macaques gathered on the trees and the ever charming spotted deer were busy grazing the fresh green grass. I paused for a minute as I could sense some movement on a tall tree and that second, I could not believe what I was seeing !!! It was the Black Panther perched high up on the tree but what had caught my attention was a Langur Monkey which was right next to the Black Panther.

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Predator & Prey – Photograph: Sheshadri Vasan

 

This Langur was completely at ease on the branch which was a death bed of sorts and did not fret a bit. Well, I guess the day belonged to this langur and I loved every moment of that morning. Forests are full of surprises and there are days where the prey and the predator live in harmony and happily … but definitely not ever after !!!
Kabini lived up to its reputation yet again and the magic continues.