Sunday, 13 May 2018

Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary

Last week Ghumakkad took you to a Zoo where you could 'talk' to a Sloth Bear. In that story, the Bear without a nose string (as in circuses) did a 'ramp' walk also.

We now take you to the Sloth Bear's natural habitat near Hampi in Karnataka called Daroji Sloth Bear SanctuarySpread over 85 acres, this bear sanctuary is probably the only place where one can spot Sloth Bear in its natural surroundings. The terrain is rocky with scrub jungle.
The watch tower which is well camouflaged provides a grandstand view. A pair of binoculars is a must to appreciate the bear who are almost a kilometre away. Here is a picture story of Ghumakkad when he went there in the month of February. The visiting hours are only in the afternoon when it can get very warm. Located only 17 kms from Hampi it is an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers. See the map below.
We all know the sloth bears love honey. You can see the sloth bear as they come out from their shady hideout in the rocky caves to feed on a paste of jaggery and honey. This paste  is applied on the rock face during the afternoon. The bears suddenly appear as back dots to feast on the sweet paste. Of course langurs and birds also partake on the sweet feast.

"Whenever visiting a wildlife sanctuary please carry all your lenses and spare batteries" is the advice given by Ghumakkad to all fellow wildlife enthusiasts. However on this visit, I left the 300 mm telephoto lens behind in the hotel to keep the backpack light. Imagine my frustration when I saw the sloth bear more than a kilometre away as mere black spots with a 50 mm lens. You may call it a coincidence or a photographer's luck, on the watchtower with us was a British couple Tom and Katie, who were  both keen wildlife photographers. After we exchanged pleasantries Tom offered his spare 300 mm Canon lens to me. Can it get better than this in the wilderness?

Thanks to Tom's borrowed lens we bring you some close-up shots of Sloth Bear. Enjoy the story.

 Here is a one-minute video clip giving you an all round view from the watch tower.

After a long wait in hot sun, the bears decided to come out.

You may browse all the stories by Ghumakkad on Hampi, a UN World Heritage Site by clicking the following links:

Thanks for browsing.

    - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 13th May 2018

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