We were on an evening safari around the Kabini backwaters in the Nagarhole national park. As we were approaching the forest check post, our naturalist spotted a Tusker that was perfectly camouflaged in the Lantana bushes close to the road. While the Elephant was hidden in the Lantana it looked like a shy juvenile of relatively small size. However, experience had taught us not to underestimate the size of the animal that is partially hidden. Also, we could see that it’s tusks were quite big.

It was clear that this Elephant was wanting to cross the road to head in the direction of the Kabini backwaters. We requested the naturalist to wait there for sometime to see if we could catch a glimpse of this huge mammoth. We didn’t wait for long. In a bit, the Tusker thrust its trunk out to check if the coast was clear and once it was convinced that we were not a threat, it revealed itself.

This was a massive male Asiatic Elephant. As it approached us slowly and crossed the road in front of our Jeep, we were able to appreciate its actual size.

It never ceases to amaze us as to how these gentle giants camouflage themselves using the forest cover.

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