Archive for the ‘Wild Life’ Category

13
Aug

Elephant Attack

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The next day we were told that the rest of the herd had moved on somewhere else leaving the biggest male calf behind.  This may be a natural part of their life cycle that the male moves away when it reaches maturity.  Anyway this male calf, was loitering within our farm and the land next to us for the day.  We were watching its pattern as it ate grass and explored the neighbours shed and walked in and out at will.

Then around noon we heard  a lot of shouts and screams.  We were near the cheese cottage that is poised opposite the slope where the elephant was so we had a birds eye view of what was happening.  The elephant had decided that it had had enough of the tea pickers and other workers in our neighbours plot and was chasing them and they were running for their life.  Then he changed his tack and went for a single tea-picking woman with a vengeance.  Roughly at this point I got my act together and started clicking with full zoom hoping the photos were not too blurred.

Elephant Chasing Woman 1 - Cropped

Just then the woman who was making her escape thru the tea bushes fell and disappeared out of sight under the bushes.   The elephant came within 5 to 10 feet from here and started pushing the bushes aside with his snout to find her.  We all thought she was done for when she suddenly got up and starting running again.  The elephant took a few seconds to react then chased her again jumping down an embankment that she had managed to cross safely a few seconds earlier (see photos).

Elephant chasing Woman 2 - Cropped

Luckily there were a lot of workers, carpenters, masons etc working on our land and they were making a big racket and this deterred the elephant finally and it reluctantly turned around and sauntered back up to continue its feeding and the woman ran to safety into our side of the fence.  We were all relieved and much wiser about the reality of an elephant charge.   There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that we had witnessed a near-death situation.  Had it been one of the older woman who work there she may not have got away.

13
Aug

Close Encounter of the Herd Kind

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Our first night at the farm where we moved PC and all and we decided to go back to the main house around 8:30pm to get some stuff that Pablo needed to go to school the next day.  On our way back just as we entered the private road that leads finally to Acres Wild, we heard a lot of shouting and whistling. I thought it was our neighbours, the Saits having a good time and continued.  A second later as we came around the corner 3 large figure loomed barely 80 feet ahead in the headlight in the middle of the road.  They were the 2 big female elephants and one of the calves.  Luckily they were headed in the same direction and so did not react to the headlights immediately.  I put off the headlights and started rolling the car back.   I was later told that putting of the headlights is not a good idea.  Still to figure that out.
Anyway we waited in the car and the Sait clan (from who I have bought the land for Acres Wild) were most helpful and took us into their house of a cup of tea and ‘kheer’ and stories of ‘shikaar’ and how people dealt with wild life in the ‘good old’ days.  Toby a young american student who is staying with us to experience cheeesemaking and organic farm life, was getting a great first hand experience of many new things.
Later with the Saits help we made our way back to the house though we knew the elphants were still around the property.
End of an episode and we did not know that much more was to follow in the days to come.

6
Aug

Finally Got them

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I finally managed to be in the right place at the right time and with my camera at hand.  We had managed to get photographs for each visit for last 3 years.   This year I had not seen them myself though they have stayed around our farm the longest.  This afternoon I was told the elephants were around and I ran out to get these gorgeous photos. This time there were 6 of them.   2 adult females and 4 calves.

Elephants 2009 - Family of six

Family of six elephants.

Elephants 2009 - Biggest one

The Biggest of the Herd – a female elephant.

22
Jun

Elephants visit 4th Year

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The Elephants are back on their annual trip to Acres Wild Farm. They came at night so noone saw them but the workers heard them and next morning we saw their footprints, damaged  trees and trampled tall grass and lots of lovely unmistakable elephant dung.  Hope to catch them on camera if they are still around and post the phots here again like the last 3 years.

18
Jan

Panther takes 2 Baby Goats

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So now it has finally happened.  The old man who looks after the goats came running up to tell us that a panther had taken 2 baby goats in front of his eyes.  He was in bad shape so it must have been a real experience.  Look’s like Acres Wild is getting a bit too wild for keeping farm animals.  Will move the goats to the top of the propery behind the cow shed where they are safer from the panthers.

11
Nov

Panthers spotted in Acres Wild

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A panther was spotted along with the bisons this morning inside Acres Wild by our staff. Have to ask a few more questions to figure out the details which I will post here later.

One thing is for sure, they are coming for the ducks and hens and goats. None have been attacked so far.

9
Nov

Panther's caught near Acres Wild

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2 days back a local lady spotted a panther near the road at the entrance of Acres Wild Farm and promptly fainted.  Some 15 jeeps of forest officials descended to trap the poor animal and another panther that was spotted at the same time managed to escape.  Much excitement though for a minute the scene looked more like they had found a terrorist ‘holed up’ in the bushes :-).

Anyway it confirmed once again that panthers are around Coonoor and definitely at Acres Wild.  And yes, we have to be a bit more careful.

16
Jul

Elephants visit 3rd year in a row 2008

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After a few days visit a month back we thought the elephants had gone back down towards Burliyar where they hang out the rest of the year.  But few days back they returned and this time they are planning to stay for a long time.

Elephants at Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farm

Apart from keeping out of their way we have to hope that they will not rip up our fruit trees which for some strange reason they love doing.  That is the destructive part.  But they can do a lot more to our structures too.  Wonder what is going to be the long term outcome.  Of course it is exciting and that is why we call our place Acres Wild.

6
May

Wild dog gets 2 hens.

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Now we are getting a feel of the balance of the wild. There is a toll to pay and that is only fair if we want the wildness to be all around us. Reminds me of the part in ‘A language older than Words’ by Derrick Jensen. He is trying to rear hens and the coyotes come and get them. He writes how he pleads to them mentally and wordlessly to leave the hens only realising all the while that it is only fair that they get their share.

I would strongly recommend to anyone that they read this book. Very sensitive investigation in the pitfalls of mainstream industrial society and a lot more. Powerful read. Try it.

This now confirms the pattern. Three elephants visited our farm last night. The number 3 is important too as there was a family of 3 elephants that had started visiting in 2006. I suspect it is the same family. We have placed photos of them for 2006 and 2007 and you can make out that the calf has grown and it really looks like the same family of elephants. If that is true then it goes to show that elephants really have a fantastic memory – in this case they know where they can get food and water in the hot summer months. It happens to be Acres Wild Farm!!!