Lifescapes Gallery

4 / Nov / 2009
The Case of the Dog that didn’t bark
Dhole, Kabini
Jayanth Sharma

The Case of the Dog that didn’t bark

It could be an affirmation of the old adage that barking dogs never bite, for the Dhole, or wild dogs of Kabini, are examples of the converse being true, and are never known to bark. But then, why would one want to bark when you have over five caller tunes to stay in touch? The most distinctive is a tuneful whistling (which, by the way, is not only when well proportioned females saunter by), but also includes growls, chuckles, screams and hisses to break the monotony. Musical abilities apart, these whistlers of the woods also have something our Bollywood heroes would die for. In these days of six and eight pack bodies being routinely flaunted on glossies and TV screens, it isn’t unusual to see Dholes with twelve pack bodies. In fact it’s the pack that is the strength of this lean, mean killing machine, and everything they do is as a single, cohesive body. ‘One for all; all for one’, is the philosophy they live by; one that serves them well to bring down a much larger Gaur, or even put an errant leopard or tiger in its rightful place. This team ethic is, however, not restricted to combat alone. A selfless attitude towards the group’s welfare sees Dholes choosing a single mating pair, to ensure a more successful breeding. The others chip in by doing sentry duty, playing nanny, or fetching food for the newborn. This sense of community is what makes the Dholes not just the pre-eminent predator, but also the most swinging social club in the biosphere. While these dogs may not sit, heel, or fetch the paper, the Dhole of Kabini, can certainly teach our management gurus a thing or two about setting organizational goals and achieving them through team effort. And, no, we’re not barking up the wrong tree.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 at 10:00 am and is filed under Mammals . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
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  5. S. Devanand says:

    Brilliant article. A real eye-opener that has one chuckling every step of the way into the life & times of this versatile predator.

  6. Asha says:

    Excellent story and an amazing photograph to go with it …

    Hats off!

  7. Bhagirath Sheth says:

    kudos to Jayant Sharma for excellent lensmanship. looking forward to more such photoes. the story is excellent

  8. Gauri says:

    As usual, a very enjoyably informative read, no doubt. Unmistakably Rajesh! Will certainly keep in mind to stay away from ’em whistlesl

  9. Eva H says:

    I like the concept of Conscientious Tourism being promoted by you. Afterall, if there is nothing left of nature and heritage, there won’t be any tourism left anyway. Kudos to the photgrapher for a great picture. The article was a pleasure to read through and painted its own picture. Keep the good work goin!!!

  10. Diwakaran Nair says:

    Wonderful camera work. Brilliant script. Handsome hero. This is definitely our favourite wednesday serial. I see a few of the photos so far are by Mr. Jayanth Sharma. Hats off to his fabulous lensmanship. And of course to the various writers who manage to write such perceptive yet humorous stories each time. Could we know the culprits please? And…congrats Orange County for a great initiative.

    • Jose Ramapuram, Director - Marketing, Orange County Resorts says:

      Dear Mr. Nair,
      Thank you once again for your comments that are appreciated here as much as you appreciate our photo-essays :). As far as wildlife photography goes, Jayanth is among the best in the business in this part of India and as you can see from the quality, the photographs are chosen purely on merit. Unlike the photos, we have a single story teller for all Lifescapes stories. Rajesh Ramaswamy is the man behind these amazing stories. You can read more about him at

      • Diwakaran Nair says:

        Thanks Mr. Ramapuram for letting me know who is behind these articles. And thanks Mr. Rajesh Ramaswamy for some truly captivating stories. I don’t know how you manage to keep coming up with these gems. Your style of writing already has fans in one home I can assure you. All the best with the venture.

  11. Shonali Datta says:

    Dear Cherian and Thomas,

    Thank you for including me in your email list. The Dhole is high on my list of “must sees”. I have tried several times and had no luck. As Mohan says I am glad you don’t focus on the tiger. It detracts from the wealth of flora and fauna of the jungles of India. We need to “Africanise” our forests – just as people go to Africa to see its wealth of wildlife, we need to encourage people to look at our forests beyond the tiger. The way the tiger population is diminishing, they soon may have to!! We should think about this.

    But keep up this awareness campaign you have started.


  12. Shoba says:

    Amazing photos and a fun write up too. Love it, love it, love it!!!

  13. Mohan Narayanaswamy. says:

    Dear Cherian and Thomas (My Friends in the Wild),

    First of all let me thank you guys for keeping me on your mailing list.

    My tryst with wildlife started some 8 years ago when we embarked on a family holiday to explore Pench, Kanha and Bandhavgarh. I was always fascinated with nature and all things connected with it. Since my first trip nature has been pulling me like a magnet. I am always on the lookout for an excuse or opportunity to lose myself in the wild. Each trip has been a fresh learning experience or a reminder of the things learnt on previous trips.

    Nature is a big leveller for those understand and learn from it. Every plant, every animal has a story to tell us. We just need to look deep into it and have people like you who highlight the subtler elements of nature and the stories connected with it.

    Our jungles have so much to offer but a lot of time is lost just talking about Tigers or trying to spot them. Those selling the dream of tiger sighting do not realize what their clients are missing in the bargain.

    I find these stories very fascinating and try to incorporate them in real life. Look forward to the next communication.

    Let’s work more closely to showcase wildlife to all those who are seeking it.


    Travel Scope (India) Pvt Ltd.

  14. JOSEPH D"COUTO says:

    This was a nice Initiative. Keep it up.

  15. Ayappa Somaiah says:

    Well defined discription, great initiative on responsible tourism by Orange County!!

  16. Shankar says:

    what a great article & a photograph!

  17. ajay dewan says:


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