Glimpse of Last Surviving Herd of State Animal of Goa
On 12th of May, 2013 I came across with the herd of Gaur or Indian Bison (locally called gavo redo in Konkani), at Talyecho sado in Chorla village of Karnataka. Talyecho Sodo is the lateritic plateau, situated at the height of 820 mts. It is located at the northeastern side of Goa and shares its boundary with Mhadei wildlife sanctuary. Due to absence of soil layer and hard lateritic rock the land is left barren and only herbs and some varieties of bushes and grasses grow. The herd was comprised of eight individuals between young to sub-adult categories except two of them were fully grown. Narayan Paroadkar and Vachan Kerkar were accompanying me; we than decided to enter into the forest. Around 5.45 pm at few distance, we spotted one individual foraging into the forest. We were all curious to get closer to him. I got ready with my camera and started clicking photos. Later on, we discovered two more of them. As my curiosity increased, I reached so close to one of the calf that I could actually smell him. After some time we came across the full herd.
After observing closely, I came to know that they begin their activity at the dusk when the temperature drops and human disturbances are less. They were feeding upon upper portions of plants and grazing upon the grasses. The herd was aware about our presence but they were not interested in us. It seems to me that they must have encounter humans at a several occasions and humans must have not causing any harm to them.
It was such a memorable day for me to experience the full herd of Gaur very closely. I felt very lucky to be there at a right time. I pray to god let this giant animal roam into the last surviving forest patches of Western Ghats.
By Subodh Naik