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Tracking Rajaji's Leopards: Stealthy Spots In The Wild

by Nimisha Tewari 13 Apr 2024

Tracking Rajaji's leopards requires patience, keen observation and an understanding of their elusive nature. Here are some stealthy spots in the wild where you might have luck spotting these majestic predators:

  1. Watering Holes: Leopards are opportunistic hunters and are often drawn to watering holes, especially during the dry season when water sources are scarce. Position yourself near water bodies such as rivers, streams or natural springs, where leopards may come to quench their thirst or prey on unsuspecting animals.

  2. Rocky Outcrops and Caves: Leopards are skilled climbers and are known to seek refuge in rocky outcrops, cliffs or caves during the day. These hidden spots provide them with shelter and a vantage point to observe their surroundings while remaining concealed from potential threats. 

  3. Thick Bushes and Dense Vegetation: Rajaji National Park is characterized by dense forests and thick undergrowth, providing ample cover for leopards to stalk their prey. Look for areas with dense vegetation, such as thickets, shrubs and bamboo groves, where leopards may hide during the day or lie in wait for passing prey. 

  4. Game Trails and Pathways: Leopards often use established game trails and pathways to move through their territory stealthily. Position yourself along these trails, particularly near areas where prey animals congregate, such as grazing grounds or salt licks, where leopards may ambush their quarry. 

  5. Tree Canopies: Leopards are adept climbers and are known to haul their kills into trees to keep them safe from scavengers such as hyenas and jackals. Scan the tree canopies for signs of leopard activity, such as claw marks on tree trunks or the presence of prey carcasses hoisted in the branches. 

  6. Open Grasslands and Savannahs: While leopards prefer dense cover for hunting and concealment, they may also venture into open grasslands and savannahs, especially in search of prey such as deer and antelope. Keep an eye out for leopards prowling along the edges of these open areas or using them as transit routes between hunting grounds. 

  7. Dusk and Dawn: Leopards are crepuscular hunters, meaning they are most active during the early morning and late evening hours. Plan your wildlife safaris during these times for the best chance of encountering leopards on the move or engaging in hunting activity. 

Remember to exercise caution and respect the wildlife while tracking leopards in the wild. Keep a safe distance and avoid disturbing or provoking them, allowing these magnificent predators to continue thriving in their natural habitat.

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