Dholes are ruthless hunters. They are smart, hunt strategically, and most importantly, do not let their prey escape.
One evening at Nagzira Tiger Reserve, however, was different.
While we were enjoying the tranquility of a stream in this beautiful forest, we heard a Sambar Deer’s alarm call. We saw a big male deer run across the road and jump into the water. These deer are known to jump into water to try and protect themselves from predators.
Hot on his trail was a pack of Dholes.
The Dholes surrounded him and started calling for reinforcements. The deer, however, proved no easy prey. He went on the defensive by splashing in the water (had a single kick connected with a Dhole’s jaw, it would have ripped the jaw apart or crushed the bones).
The Dholes began their attack one by one. Undeterred, the deer moved into deeper water. They followed him into the stream, but tried to steer clear of his powerful kicks that sounded like rocks pounding into water.
After attempting various attacks, the deer’s size and power finally managed to intimidate the Dholes and they slunk away.
Animals making a kill is, of course, a rare sight, but being able to watch and document an animal strategically escaping a kill is rarer still.