It is humid these days, and it was so in one of the recent vehicle safaris at Orange County, Kabini. The Nagarhole National Park offered many wildlife sightings like elephants, gaur and so on. I kept my guests engaged in the sightings, and they were all very keen to scan the breath of the jungle.
It got slightly cooler as we neared the Bisalwadi tank, and I was just telling the guests that we could expect some wildlife to appear close to the water body to quench their thirst.
And then, we heard a loud alarm call of the chital herd and the sound came from the lantana bushes onto our right. I saw two more vehicles parked away from us, and they were also listening to it.
The calls were directed away from us, and it appeared that the predator was moving in the direction of the other vehicles parked at the junction. I was then explaining to my guests that if I were this predator, I would not like to move towards the noisy visitors in the vehicles.
And as said, the alarm calls stopped for a while, and again started, but this time the movement of the predator was towards our side. I told my guests there could possibly be a cat sighting that day, and that the cat was moving towards our direction. We were absolutely quiet.
As monkeys gave alarm calls quite close to the bushes, I directed my guests towards the bushes where the cat could appear. And it was exactly at the same spot that an adult male leopard emerged, and it was surprised that they we were waiting for him in that place.
After staring at us for few moments, it started walking towards our vehicle, marked his scent on an axle wood tree, and then crossed the track in front of us, moving towards the waterhole.