A silhouette of a Crested Hawk Eagle from Pench
I’m sure, most of you haven’t seen something like this before. A very rare event to be witnessed in wild!
It was three years ago at a forest in Central India called Pench.
8.20 pm, night time. We were in the middle of the forest surrounded by dry, bare trees and a number of wild animals. There was hardly anything visible in the moonlight even though it was a full moon. We were under the sea of millions of stars along with Jupiter, Mars and Saturn shining bright. The silence was dreadful, except a few calls of Nightjars. That was THE day(night :p) when I actually experienced the Sound of Silence. I could hear my ears ringing. It was a nice and an unique experience, listening to the sound of silence in raw wilderness. It was a bit scary as well. Suddenly, we saw a pair of shiny, fiery eyes in a patch of dense trees under the torchlight. Then came 2-3 more pairs. We went closer and to our surprise, we saw an entire pack of wolves.
One wolf was resting right in front of us. The rest of the pack was hiding behind the trees and some of the individuals were scattered all around. All of a sudden the howling started. He got up immediately and went to his pack and joined the choir and the entire forest started echoing with howls in a chorus. We all were speechless, literally spellbound for a second. It was terrifying and amusing at the same time to witness this from such close quarters. Totally unexpected. While the party was going on, I heard a slight crackling of dried leaves behind me. When I turned around, I saw a wolf running in our direction! I was scared stiffstar! But it changed its direction and vanished into the bushes. Then we saw wolves running all over the place.It was a huge pack with around 14 individuals. Usually wolves roam in a pack of 6-8. It was truly a great experience! After sometime, we decided to leave them alone and turned around. We all were contended having able to see this!
This incident has been etched in my mind forever and I can still live the moment in my mind when I think about it. It truly is rare to be able to witness this in the wild and I’m really lucky to have experienced this 🙂
Do you know why Wolves howl?
There are many animals that howl. The most famous howler is the wolf. Animals howl for various reasons. There are three main reasons, why a wolf howls-
One is to communicate to other wolf packs that they’ve taken this territory and better stay away(territorial marking). Wolves also howl to find their pack members and bring them together (as seen in the attached video). The howls of wolves can be heard over miles! The third reason is for social purposes such as maintaining relationships with the pack. It is seen that during the denning season, the howling of wolves drops as they want to avoid giving the dens location to other animals.
Why am I calling this as a rare event?
The howling of Indian Grey Wolves is no doubt a rare event! Indian Grey Wolves are known to howl very rarely, comparatively. Maybe because they are not as territorial as the other species.
Also, have you read The Jungle Book? Did you love it as a child? Do you still love it? Well, the forest that I was talking about here is the very same forest where The Jungle Book took place. Yes! It is a true story! Maybe not the exact ‘story’ as such, just the idea or the inspiration. We don’t know that, Kipling knows :p
It was during the rule of the British East India Company over India when they came across a boy living with a pack of wolves in the forests around the village Seoni. They informed this to the writer Rudyard Kipling who had never ever been to India. He found inspiration in this and wrote the famous ‘The Jungle Book’.
The village Seoni still exists at the forest Pench in Central India. It even has a mention in the book. Interesting, isn’t it?
Coming back to the story, as it was completely dark, I couldn’t click any photos of the incidence. However my mind luckily made the decision to shoot a video instead. I have attached the video here, do watch. Remember to turn up the volume to the highest, or even better, use headphones. If you have pets around, especially dogs, they might go wild on hearing the howls so beware :p
(Couldn’t upload the video directly for “Security Reasons” of WordPress apparently so adding a link, do watch! 🙂
Indian Grey Wolf (Cannis lupus Pallipes)
Link of the Howling Wolves video-