There are very few moments in a zoo which are as joyous as watching two elephants basking in the mid-afternoon sun, without any metallic chains gripping their pillar like legs. It was a pleasant sight to see Laxmi and Anarkali, out on the ground swinging their trunks and stomping their feet, uprooting the overgrown grass and slapping it against their back and legs to keep the birds or flies at bay. I have rarely seen this kind of spectacle in Rani baug in the last many years. Needless to say, i was rooted to the place for quite a while.
As i entered the zoo, i was apalled at the sight of the lioness, which had frustration written all over her face. I was not expecting much from the elephant section as well, because not very long ago an incident had occured in the elephant’s enclosure which led to the death of a trespasser who had provoked Laxmi, the elephant. In 2007, a male elephant named Rajkumar had killed his mahout, which had resulted in him being sent to Kerala. Some years back the tigress had passed away, thus letting only squirrels scampering in the tiger’s den.
Rani Baug is not just a zoo for me, but it is a place that has countless memories. Back when i was in school, i remember taking rides on the elephant, feeding the deers, watching the tigress walk back and forth for hours. Now more than half of the animals are either dead or have been shifted to other zoos, and the ones who are there are in a pitiable condition. Talks have been on to spruce up the zoo, but its been over 5 years since i have been hearing that.
Anyways, i wasn’t thinking about all that when i was in front of the pachyderms. Here are the girls gossiping some more.
PS : These photographs were clicked courtesy the absolutely wonderful Canon 550D. Will write a post dedicated solely to the camera soon.