The Elephant Cloud


The Elephant Cloud header image 2

Chitwan National Park

May 24th, 2008 by · No Comments · Asia, Nepal

I came to see the rhinos and we trekked thru grasslands and jungle forest to find them.

In the grasses, which are higher than me at this time of year, the guide said we’d notice movement of large animals by the rustling. Yet it was the still grass of animals lying in wait that concerned me.

In the forest, we found the tell-tale tracks of the three toed Indian Rhinoceros and followed them as they trod along a small path. When they wandered off the path into the thick of the forest, we went in the opposite direction.

If I were a tracker, I’d follow the tracks. But I’m not, and our guide is, and he’s still alive. So what do I know?

An hour later we climbed atop a raised, wooden viewing tower and spotted yesterday’s wild male elephant. Arguably more dangerous today due to his unrealized goals from the night before, he looked peaceful and graceful to me.

From the raised station we watched him disappear into the jungle, right in the vicinity of our path. This unnerved the guides so we waited and the clouds grew darker.

Eventually we could wait no longer and with dramatic thunder in the background, we amassed in number, joining forces with two other groups and proceeded into the jungle toward the frustrated beast. Our guides were visibly anxious.

After half an hour of jumping at each snapped twig, we finally saw his tracks cross ours, leading away. Guides scrambled into trees, verified the stillness of the grasses, and we proceeded to track monkeys and deer.

It was then, deeper in the forest and on foot and at the furthest point from our lodging that the canopy thickened, the clouds blackened, and the rains came down hard.

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