|bonnet macaque monkey|
We saw lots of monkeys near the roads and near our hotel. All too used to humans, an especially bold monkey would even approach to beg for food when we were eating.
|a baby monkey snuggles into its mother to nurse|
Herds of chital deer and wild boar also grazed nearby in the more open areas.
We then took a windowless bus into the Bandipur National Park, driven by one of the park rangers. Following a dirt road deeper into the reserve, we were able to see some animals that were less tame..
|herd of Gaur, also known as Indian bison|
|herd of chital deer surrounded by old bamboo mounds|
We saw quite a few peacocks with their gorgeous plumage.
Did you know that peacocks can fly for short distances? I didn't, before I saw this:
|peacock up in a tree|
When we saw animals, the park ranger would stop the bus and turn off the ignition so that we wouldn't scare them and so that we could take pictures. Of course we were all thrilled when we spotted a group of elephants.
Notice what the adult elephants are carefully guarding..
A baby elephant tried to come closer to see us. The adults quickly pushed it back behind them.
Then an old matriarch elephant started out of the brush towards our bus.
One idiot in the back of the bus was busy taking pictures with the flash on. 'No flash!' hissed the park ranger. I heard a click as he turned the key halfway in the ignition, ready to start the bus and hit the gas if the elephant decided to charge.
The elephant stopped about 10 feet away from the bus and stayed there, grazing on tufts of grass and keeping a very watchful eye.
I could barely breath at that point - I was sitting in a windowless bus 10 feet away from a colossal sized elephant...
with my own 4-year-old daughter on my lap.
Thankfully, all she did was watch us. After a while, the herd of elephants decided to move on, and we went our separate ways.
I was actually quite glad we did not happen upon a tiger...
The encounter with the elephants was wild enough for me!
Mr. Red House and his father took many of these awesome photos, as I was often busy holding kids.
Great photos, guys!