Tuesday, February 19, 2008
A Gentle giant, and the 100th post
In the moist evergreen forests of Kerala, it is an overwhelming feeling just to be – you do not necessarily have to see it all to believe it : the fact is that you couldn’t, even if you wanted to.
The air is always heavy with the sounds and smells of what is on the other side – of a tree trunk or the thick undergrowth - of creatures watching your every move.
There is a rhythm ( I’d even go as far as calling it silence) to the noises of the jungle; for when there is a crackle of branches and a rustle of leaves, you will turn and look, and you will probably spot this colorful bundle of fur on a leap that is nothing less than unbelievable.
The giant Malabar squirrel is quite huge as the name suggests. What is unlike how the name sounds though, is that he is a particularly cute fellow.
It builds nests on intricately branched heights of trees, and hardly ever comes down : a reason why the creature cannot be spotted very easily.
The natural predators of this threatened species are leopards and large birds, but the real threat is from the two-legged cousins that live on the other side of the tree line.