After the exciting Leopard sighting in the morning, we eagerly embarked on the evening safari into Bandipur National Park. Everyone in the Jeep was scanning the Lantana’s edge on either side of the road during the safari, when suddenly the driver shouted; Monitor Lizard. This Monitor Lizard was right in the middle of the road, a little ahead of the Jeep. Normally on hearing the Jeep, these shy Monitor Lizards scamper away for cover. So we switched off the Jeep engine and waited for the Monitor Lizard to make its move. But to our pleasant surprise, the Monitor Lizard stayed on the road and started coming towards the Jeep.

Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard

There aren’t many times that you get to spot a Monitor Lizard bang in the middle of the road. Even more rare is to see one boldly coming towards the Jeep. I quickly shifted my position to as low as possible to compose these (above & below) pictures of the Monitor Lizard approaching the Jeep.

Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard

As the Monitor Lizard came closer to the Jeep, it veered off the road to check something out in a nearby pit. I captured it flicking its tongue (above), possibly sniffing the pit for some bird eggs. It then turned around and continued strolling parallel to the Jeep. It was now clear that this Monitor Lizard was fully aware of the Jeep’s presence and it didn’t deem us as a threat. It continued its business of scouting for something to eat. I took this final (below) closeup picture of the Monitor Lizard; the boldest that we have encountered till date.

Monitor Lizard

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