"Silence is Golden"
It is really difficult to spot some animals in the forest. Wild animals, such as predators like tigers and leopards are
generally very shy and elusive. They tend to hide when they see human beings. As a naturalist, I have a few tips for you to increase your chances of sighting animals in the wild. With luck and these tips, you will enjoy your game drives even more!
Usually in the wild life, when we try to search any predator, we use commonly a few ways. One is foot prints. Footprints, also known as pug marks, are really important and give you specific clues. Generally, predators prefer to walk frequently on the soft dirt road because their paws are soft padded. So, when they walk, they leave their foot marks on the dirt road. The freshness of pugmarks indicates how recently they have been there and can help pinpoint their whereabouts. So, always try to concentrate on footprints on the road. Footprints can also indicate the size, sex and sometime even the age of an animal.
The second is maintain silence during the game drives. For people who go first time to any forest it is very different kind of experience. If people make noise then it becomes very difficult to percept signs which are of great importance for sightings. Unnecessary discussion should be avoided. This affects hard on the concentration of guides & drivers. In a safari there is very limited time for spotting & forests are really big to be ventured.
The third is alarm call that is also known as warning call. Most animals call in order to communicate with individuals of their own species, including to attract the opposite sex and to alert others of the threat of possible predators. They have various ways of communicating with one another. Many animals have alarm calls, sharp staccato barks, whistles, etc. which they utter when suspicious and continue to repeat until reassured. So, Always gives full attention to hear the voices of animals. So, these types of alarm and scare calls of animals like deer, antelope, monkey or even peacock provide hints to the specific location of any predators! Laying, resting or sleeping predators on the forest floor are totally camouflaged. So, it is very hard to see them. So alarm call is great way to identify such animals. But often it is hard to hear the alarm calls while a vehicle is moving due to its noise. That’s why; we go slow and pause for a short while, so the forest becomes clam and we are able to hear the calls if it is coming from the far distance. Generally people think guides & drivers are wasting time but it is not true. Only pugmarks & warnings calls by other animals are most important in finding big cats in the park.
That’s why we need a pin drop silence during the game drives. Therefore, try to be good observer and speak softly if it is required.
We can categorize animals simply in two types. One is diurnal animals such as spotted dear and monkeys those actives in day time and sleep and takes rest in night time like us. Others are nocturnal animals such as tiger and leopard those who are active in night and take rest or nape during day time. So, it is quite possible that any nocturnal animals or birds can sleep or take rest during your game drive. Therefore, we should try to keep silence in the forest. We really don’t have any right to disturb them because we are in their homes. We have to be well disciplined. Missing alarming calls means no sighting of tiger. That’s why our wild life experts say,” Silence is golden”.