Merry Christmas, everyone! It’s been a long time since we had a visit from the doddavarus, the big ones. But they paid us a Christmas visit and left their calling cards.
Judging from the big and little cards, four adults and two babies walked past us in the wee hours. Topshe barked and people were yelling somewhere, but we couldn’t see anything. One disadvantage of our trees growing!
Though we’ve missed the excitement and the honour of their presence, I must admit that our trees have perked up and flourished in their absence. And we’ve been enjoying our own bananas after a long hiatus.
The reason for this long absence is that the Tamil Nadu forest department decided, two years ago, to put up a solar fence along one stretch of its boundary. We happen to be along the roughly 10 km stretch. Villages at either end of the fence have been bearing the brunt of this funnel effect, while farmers in this stretch have been merrily harvesting their crops without elephantine interference this year. Plus, the rains have been so good that there is plenty of water and fodder in the forest. This is the first time in months that any elephants have strayed into this stretch, walking around the fence. A happy event!
Rajendra picked up one bit of baby elephant dung, claiming it has medicinal properties. God knows what it’s supposed to cure, and no one was prepared to try it except Topshe the pig dog.
Here are some of our local elephants. Photo credits: Rajendra (I think).