Friday, 5 October 2007

A Close Encounter With the Animal Kind

Our three and a half acre campus right in the middle the city is a refuge for all kinds of wild life because of its lush green vegetation. All around us there is a concrete jungle of business buildings and apartment complexes.

We 've had peacocks, eagles,falcons, vultures and neelgai , an Asiatic antelope resembling a cow, its called bluebuck and jackals and a host of exotic birds visiting us. Of course we drive away stray cows, buffaloes, goats and pigs from time to time.
This is a picture of a civet or bijju.
About 7 years ago during the summer when our mango trees were laden with fruit a family of civets came to live in our campus-forest. they love mangoes. They looked so cute walking on our church roof parapet holding on to each other tails like circus acrobats.After being our guests for a few weeks they disappeared.

One evening our Pomeranian dogs (no longer alive) set up a great commotion up a guava tree.Sonia (my adopted sister)and I investigated we found a civet hanging on for dear life.We locked up the dogs and tried to get the civet down.It was very ferocious ( they are extremely wild and not friendly at all). It was really agitated because someone had tied a very tight rope like a noose round his neck and he could hardly breathe.Some cruel people had entrapped it and tortured it .

This called for immediate action and both of us gals got into our Nat Geo/ Animal Planet mode. Sonia tried to take hold of the civet but it nearly snapped off her fingers, they have very sharp teeth.It dashed off and hid behind some flower pots under our grapefruit tree.

We had to somehow get the suffocating rope off its neck. The poor creature was very thirsty and started drinking water from our garden drain.We thought of a plan to distract it. I got chapatis from the house while Sonia set forth with a flashlight and scissors.

Very slowly and carefully I approached the civet with the food and offered it some.At first it wouldn 't come near me, but when it found I was not going to hurt it he approached very cautiously and started eating and drinking water too. As it got busy doing this I shone the flashlight directly into his eyes to blind it a bit as Sonia came from the back and very gently snipped off the tight rope. The animal was too hungry and thirsty to protest but soon as he was free he escaped into freedom.Sonia really deserved an award for handling such a wild ferocious animal. it could have easily bitten off her hand with its razor like teeth.

A neelgai or bluebuck found a safe haven in our campus during Christmas one year. It was feeding on our garden plants and we wanted it off our grounds.,My Dad contacted the Forest Dept. as these animals are protected species and its illegal to shoot them.The forest officials turned around and said;What kind of Christians are you. Its your festival time .Shoot it and fill your freezer with good meat, make roasts and kebabs and enjoy with your friends and family.My dad absolutely refused and said he wouldn 't do a thing like this.

We found out that the neelgai belonged to a dairy-owner.It had wandered into the garden of a police official and chewed it up and the official was very angry with the dairyman.So he sort of abandoned it near our home.We were also quite peeved with it as it was a threat to our lovely winter roses.We gave it water but also put our dogs out at night.Unable to feed in our area it started visiting our neighbour 's garden, a judge . The judge 's son is an agriculturist and had just returned from the US and was conducting research on plants in his garden.

The neelgai (some people call it bluebull too) promptly ate up the son 's research work.And he was really mad. So he called up his friend and had him shoot the poor creature. Being a high court judge 's off spring he had no legal problems to worry about. But we were very sad , the neelgai could have been rescued and sent to the wild.

3 Fertilize my soul:

Carol-Ann Allen said...

Great post, Amrita!
I just love little glimpses like this into the happenings around you!

Kimmie said...

Oh your sister Sonia sounds like such a kind person- a little feisty too! It is good to be kind to God's creatures. Sorry about the Bluebull-it would have been nice to relocate him to a more appropriate area.

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Unknown said...

It's Brilliant post and also image. I liked it.