In the first standard of the lower primary school classroom,charts depicting animals were hung on the wall where we vused to lean against,. We used to watch them silently when there is no teacher in the class room or it is raining outside. The massively built large bison stangely attracted me.i used to weave images upon the figure.
Iused to imagine a bison with shaggy coat. A strange haunting that evoked a sense of obscurity and time sense belonging to a period very long ago!that image haunted me throughout the child hood.
When I visited PARAMBIKULAM wild life sanctuary I got a chance to see these wild cattle for the first time..
It was quite impossible to tell you what species of massive trees lined up along the way!they were so tall that their leaves filtered the slanted sun rays of the west sinking sun.The vehicle was crossing a grassland. A herd of thundering gaurs stood there grazing.
They were six or seven in number,. They are usually seen in herds of eight to eleven individuals,The solitary meadows where brownish black bundle of energy throbs!we could feel the smell of energy when one of them raised his head.
The curved horns and the vacant look revealed the energy,The gaur herds are usually lead by old male Gaur.Indian wild gaur is reported to be the flag species of Parambikkulam wild life sanctuary.It could be the period of peak feeding activity.The forest guard warned” ,if you get down from vehicle,you may miss them , they are so skittish that they may crash into the jungle at an alarming speed. Indian bisons are timid and shy.”
At night as we drove around Thoonakkadavu dam area in Parambikkulam wild life sanctuary .Our head light picked up the eye shine of two gaurs grazing by the edge of the road.We were startled by the eye shine, so close to us! it was outshining Blake”s Tiger in power!
The third encounter with gaur occured when we were coming down through Muthumalai wild life reserve.While Rajettan was negotiating with a curve, there appeared a massively built powerful gaur grazing by the edge of the road.It was almost eleven in the morning and not considered as a peak grazing period!still it continued grazing without considering the passing vehicles.
I jumped out of the car and started to take snaps. What a terrible beauty! A massively built creature with a convex ridge between curved horns.There is a prominent ridge on the back.Ears are large. It is dark brown with black colour approaching;The skin appeared oily and cute.
The lower part of the legs are pure white.! But being close to a hair pin bend , it was not an area to park vehicles .what would you do if it ferociously ran towards you and gored you violently with its curved horns!Rajettan scolded me!’this could be an aged bull gaur,”The cows and young bulls are paler”,Rajettan nobody can kill this,even the tiger!! ”Tigers and leopards hunt young and infirm gaurs. several cases have been reported in which tigers were killed by Gaurs”
Gaurs live among the largest living land animals such as Asian elephant,Rhino,Hippo and Giraffe.They consistently grow.;”
The beauty of the bison is wonderful ,
Roaming round the grass lands roaming wild and free,
Grazing through the day then on to the night,
Such a lovely creature very large and bold.! William Worthless’s poem for the children under lines these facts.