Last week, just when we were locking the gate at the end of the day, we had heard a crying sound we hadn’t heard before and immediately knew something was amiss nearby. In a National Geographicesque scene, 2 hunting dogs, a Chippiparai and a Kombai, owned by a nearby farmer chased a huge Sambhar deer as Noushadya and I were walking from the gate to where the bike was parked. The sambhar deer’s size must have been more than that of a fully grown cow. We were walking 50 feet apart from each other when the chase happened between the two of us right in front of our eyes.
Our hearts skipped a beat when we saw this massive animal galloping in our direction. Eventually, the Deer won the chase as she (our suspicion is that she was a mother) escaped into the thorny bushes of the reserve forest. A few feet here and there, and one of us would have faced the wrath of the Sambhar deer and would have been grievously injured.
In a heart wrenching scene, both the dogs then continued to successfully chase down the young deer, the sound of which we had heard earlier. We heard the deer bark a couple of times from the forest when we finally left the farm. Maybe she was calling out to her young one with hope. With the hope that the young one was alive.
When we had first heard the barking sound of the deer in the first few months of buying the farm, we couldn’t identify the animal. Because, ummm… we didn’t really have any experience in identify species from their calls. A Forestry expert’s visit, a few months later, enlightened us that the animal locals call Mila (மிளா) is the Sambhar deer (Thank you, @Smitha :). We spot them occasionally on our early morning or late evening visits to the farm peacefully grazing, or frightened and scampering away at the sight of us, humans. On one instance, when the solar fence was not working, we spotted a herd of deers jump over the wires into our cow fodder plot.
The location of our farm has made us an audience to several instances of man animal conflicts. It makes me question our place on this planet, it makes me introspect. How long are we going to dominate this planet? Is the dominance going to cost eventually the sustenance our species? Are we meant to be here much longer? etc. etc.
P.S. We are planning to move in to the farm by the end of this month. An earth house update is on its way. We are extremely thankful that our farm dog Suli is fiercer than the 2 hunting dogs, which has been very clearly evident during their encounters.