After the Gorumara Safari earlier in the day, we left for Madarihat from Lataguri. Madarihaat is a town with vicinity to some well known forests.
One of notable places near Madarihaat are South Khairbari Tiger rehabilitation Centre. The eniter terai and Dooars region is well endowed with rich wildlife and lush green forests. The incidents of wildlife encounter in daily life of the residents is not uncommon. At times, there are injuries and fatalities on both sides. For instance, encountering an elephant on a highway is as common for the people as encounter with a leopard in tea garden. Interesting eh? 😀
Infact, the resort situated near the khairbari jaldapara that we stayed in was ransacked by a large hard of elephants a few days before we went there. There was a banana plantation within the resort and hence…The friendly people at the resort were kind enough to show us the place where the outer wall of the resort was broken by the leader of the herd. And we were paid a visit by them the first evening as well. Here goes the conversation between me and the resort people:
Him: Yes, it came near the wall, so we had to drive him away..
Me: Oh! How did you do it?
Him: I jumped, shouted and threw a few small stones his way…
Me: (confused) and it worked?! The measures taken by you are employed to drive away cows…
Him: *dies of laughter* 😀
They were really a bunch of beautiful people to encounter. 🙂
Because the same area is inhibited and is a free land for human and animals alike, there were occassions when Leopards were seen entering human inhibited areas. Mostly they were in the tea gardens as those are closer to the forests and the leopards find a easy snack in the form of the goat and chickens reared by the people. At times, they are shot with tranquiliser and brought to south khaibari .
Many call it south khairbari leopard safari, but it is not a safari but a place where the injured or captured leopards are kept until they are fit to be released in the wild.
Terai also has a place where Royal Bengal Tigers are found. It is called buxa tiger reserve. Tigers from there are also kept here.
We found this guy being taken care of and possibly on his way to recovery. I saw him pacing the enclosure and thought how sometimes even tigers need help…