Monday 27 February 2012

Present monkeys and absent porcupines

Periyar Tiger Reserve and Bird Sanctuary, Tekkady, Kerala, South India
Looking for lunch
This picture was taken from inside a restaurant. They just stood by the window and the older monkey made heart rending begging noises. The youngster got himself busy with the curtains…

On the same day, a couple of times, we had monkeys in our hotel room, uninvited. Alas, I did not have time to take a picture of their visit. We had been warned not to leave the windows open. One of the monkeys went from behind the curtains straight to the sugar sachets. Experienced?

These bonnet macaques Macaca radiata are very common in the park in the places where people congregated.  I took lots of pictures trying to capture their expressions. To my surprise afterwards I realised what another youngster was up to.

Playing with a porcupine quill, then he suck it
I hadn’t noticed it then. Surely, porcupines must have been very common in the area;.they left more than quills…
Fresh porcupine droppings and quill, top right
 This quill was much smaller than the other one, all the same they are part of the food chain and we left it there. No souvenirs.
Close by saw their prints.
Fresh porcupine prints. Note the pointed claws.
In all, it was good to know that there was such a healthy Indian crested porcupine Hystrix indica population. Unfortunately, we never saw any in action, they are nocturnal herbivores.

In the Sundarbans NP they are very rare; this probably because they can’t cope with the mangrove mud.

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