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Old 8th November 2007, 13:01   #16
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All of the above +

Do not get out of the car, particularly wearing bright coloured clothes.
Smoking is definitely a NO - NO during the wait.

Elephants are supposed to be very moody (particularly the tuskers/Bulls). If they've been denied goodies from a female & you happen to be around pissing them......not a pretty scene to imagine.


1] Drive very slow, enjoy the nature.
2] Switch off the ICE. (anyway you get to listen to the nature's own music)
3] when you spot any wildies, please don't come to a screeching halt (refer point 1)
4] Refrain from shouting / talking with high pitch. (point to remember, we are invading their habitat, so being nice is the least we can do)

While you are waiting for elephants to cross (or any time in the forest), please refrain from littering in the forest.
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Old 8th November 2007, 13:25   #17
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Default Bold and bureaucratic

When confronting wild Indian elephants on the road the best thing to do is to be assertive. Elephants respect authority. Look for the largest animal of the herd and march right up to it. Address it in a strong command voice with a hint of extreme boredom and annoyance. When talking to it make your diction unclear and drop the level of your voice at the end of sentences so the animal has to make you repeat what you have said over and over. Then act more annoyed. Demand to see its papers. Ask to see its load limit permit. Inquire after its lack of running lights. Demand to see its registration and air quality control documents. Insist on inspecting its safety equipment, seat belts fire extingusher etc. Demand to see a cargo manefest. The animal will shortly go screaming off into the jungle with its friends. You doubt my words? The elephant is an extremely intelligent and sensitive animal. Therefore it simply can not fathom Indian mindless bureaucracy. It has no defense for it.
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Old 8th November 2007, 13:32   #18
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The dangerous variety of single elephant which all are talking about here are called "Musth elephant", extremely dangerous, can be identified by looking at their heads, near their eyes there are secretive glands which starts overflowing during this period, so if you see a big watery dark patch near the eyes flowing down like large quantity of tears, elephant is in "Musth stage", stay away and far.

Adult male elephants naturally enter the periodic state called musth (Hindi for madness), sometimes spelt "must" in English. It is characterised by very excited and/or aggressive behavior and a thick, tar-like liquid secretion that discharges through the temporal ducts from the temporal glands on the sides of the head.

Musth is linked to sexual arousal or establishing dominance, but this relationship is far from clear. Numerous cases of elephant goring and killing of rhinoceroses in national parks in Africa have been documented and attributed to musth in young male elephants, especially those growing in the absence of older males. Studies show that reintroducing older males into the population seem to have the effect of preventing younger males from entering musth, and therefore, stopping their aggressive behavior.

A musth elephant, wild or domesticated, is extremely dangerous to humans. Domesticated elephants in India are traditionally tied to a tree and denied food and water for several days, after which the musth passes. In zoos, musth is often the cause of fatal accidents to elephant keepers. Zoos keeping adult male elephants need extremely secure enclosures, which greatly complicates the attempts to breed elephants in zoos.

Musth is accompanied by a significant rise in reproductive hormones. Testosterone levels in an elephant in musth can be as much as 60 times greater than in the same elephant at other times. However, whether this hormonal surge is the sole cause of musth, or merely a contributing factor is unknown: scientific investigation of musth is greatly hindered by the fact that even the most otherwise placid of elephants may actively try to kill any and all humans. Similarly, the tar-like secretion remains largely uncharacterised, due to the difficulties of collecting a sample for analysis.

Although it has often been speculated that musth is linked to rut, this is unlikely, because the female elephant's estrus cycle is not seasonally-linked. Furthermore, bulls in musth have often been known to attack female elephants, regardless of whether or not the females are in heat.

The Hindi word "musth" is from the Urdu mast, which in turn is from a Persian root meaning "intoxicated".

The Channel 5 British television program "The Dark Side of Elephants" (March 20, 2006) stated that during musth:
The swelling of the temporal glands presses on the elephant's eyes and causes the elephant severe pain comparable to severe root abscess toothache. One elephant behaviour that tries to counteract this is digging the tusks into the ground.
The musth secretion, which naturally runs down into the elephant's mouth, is full of ketones and aldehydes and (to a human at least) tastes unbelievably foul.

As a result, musth behaviour is at least partly due to the elephant being driven mad by pain and distress.
Source: Wiki
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Old 8th November 2007, 13:41   #19
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Read some Shakespeare to the elephant, shake hands and move on...

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals...
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Old 8th November 2007, 13:56   #20
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
BTW, all the vehicles that were allowed inside the forest were diesels including the forest vehicles.

Surprisingly, in most other WLS, only petrol vehicles are allowed since they are quieter! (although animals do have a keener sense of hearing than humans) I think engine noise would only irritate and unnerve wild life.
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Old 8th November 2007, 15:30   #21
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Musth elephants are the most dangerous..They'll attack anything that comes in his way without provocation..I Dont think the rules said above will apply for such elephants..Its better we hide from them rather than making them understand 'i am just a passerby'.
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Old 8th November 2007, 15:55   #22
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I have some experience with animals and have driven from Blr to ooty a few times. It is unlikely that elephants will block a well used road.

Elephants are intelligent and that road is well used with many vehicles on it. They know well enough to stay away from the road.
The only cases where animals block the road is where the number of vehicles are few and far between.

Similarly you should know well enough that the forest is theirs and you should neither leave the road, nor stop to take photos. If you must, slow down and take photos without a flash. Then go.

However in the rare case that an elephant blocks the road between Ooty and BLR like everyone has (rightly) said, wait patiently.

I assure you, if you don't stop and stick to that, you be safe. No danger whatsoever.

As far as tackling an Elephant. You cannot.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 8th November 2007 at 15:58.
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Old 8th November 2007, 17:44   #23
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As far as tackling an Elephant. You cannot.

I second your words sam, tackling it would be impossible since its huge in size.

@kutappan i faced asimiliar situation on the way back. well i was patiently waiting for 10 mins. she stood there plucked some leave from the tree had here own sweet time and went away.
but i dont think you might face this situation early in the morning,

drive safe..
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Old 8th November 2007, 23:16   #24
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LOL DirtyDan, hilarious write-up!

Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
.....The elephant is an extremely intelligent and sensitive animal....
Also has an amazing memory!
My grandfather used to go into the forests in north india years ago on elephant, and on one such occasion, while moving through the 6ft high elephantgrass he realised he had dropped something off of the elephant. The mahout told the elephant to turn around, and he retraced his path step for step through the tall grass for 20 minutes till they finally found what my grandfather had dropped.

Also, check out this great thread - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...val-guide.html

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Old 9th November 2007, 14:38   #25
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Yes, all that's been said here holds true. Last sunday we were driving through Bandipur & Mudumalai to catch a glimpse of elephants. We saw tame elephants on the road (surprising, once you see the bell on the elephants you tend to lose most of your caution and drive up pretty close to them)

After seeing only a lone tusker quite some distance away we were driving back disappointed when we saw a couple of elephants peeping out of the undergrowth. I stopped my car immediately, and then realised that I was on the path of the elephants. They were planning to cross the road. I could see that they were hesitant in coming out as my car was on their path. So I moved my car and the elephants started pouring out... Here are the snaps we captured...

The last elephant was the most inquisitive and actually made a few steps towards my car.

A elephant with its ears flayed is a warning signal.

Last edited by csentil : 9th November 2007 at 14:39.
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Old 9th November 2007, 16:41   #26
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Lucky you , i recognise the location i think this is some place between Mudumali WLS and Gundulpet , probably within 20 Kms of Mudumalai WLS. This is a know elephant crossing zone . they call this the Elephant Migration Corridor. the elephants traverse through three states TN , KA and KL in search of food , water and good climate . The Bandipur - Gudulpet road runs parallel to this corridor , the Mudumalai - Masinagudi - Kalahatty route cuts right across this corridor and that also explains why elephant sightings and elephants blocking the road are more common on this road.

Lots of people have given pointers here i did all of they valid i am listing the do's below

1. Keep Calm and quite
2. Keep you distance i.e. enough for your to back up and run away in your car , if the situation gets ugly. atleast 20 feet from the closest animal.
3. Drive slow where markings of wildlife crossing are displayed
4. Turn off your ICE , especially the SUBs as elephants are very sensitive to low frequency sounds.
5. Keep your engine idling and NOT revving
6. Take photographs but only WITHOUT the FLASH
7. Keep looking out for tell tale signs of shining eyes in the dark if you are crossing in the night. Elephants become almost invisible in the dark till you are too close
8. Try to Follow a bigger vehicles like trucks if possible especially if you do not know your way around comfortably.
9. When you stop for wildlife on the road Switch off your main headlamps and turn on your running lights so that the lights do not irritate the animals.
10. if the Elephant looks at you and flares its ears fully and lifts his tail ( if you can see that hehehe ) , then he is about to charge , run if you can or hold your ground and no screaming or turning on lights or any such experiments and it just might pass.

Absolute DONT'S

1. Do not put your light on high beams. Believe me the animals do not let you pass if you do the dim and bright routine , rather you run the risk of getting run over by them .2. No honking.
3. Do not tailend the previous vehicle as the guy in the car ahead might get some stupid ideas when he reaches near the animals and you just might have to foot the bill for his foolishness.
4. Do not approach a lone tusker, they are the worst kind outcasts from the herds and very very un-predictable.
5. Keep your distance from a Mother and child they are very protective and have been known to attack with a vengeance if you get too near the kid , typically would stay close of its mommy's hind quarters. But then you do have ocassional curious ones running out on the road to sniff at the cars.
6. Do not exit your vehicle at any costs especially if you are in a WLS. No not even for a leak i might prove to be very costly .

I have had my share of run-ins with wildlife ( good ones and bad ones ) and believe me , you give them respect and they respect you back. Thats the bottom line of all this. Remember always that when in a forest you're in their homes / territory .
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Old 9th November 2007, 17:32   #27
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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
The best way to move a wild elephant without pissing it off is probably to wait.
Stop at a safe distance (and turn off the engine in case you have a loud exhaust ) and wait. Never honk at a wild animal especially at an elephant. Switch off ICE and headlights/hazard indicators.

Remember that we are in its territory and if the animal feels provocated it can charge and elephants can run pretty fast. Practise some J-turns to be well prepared for this scenario. All the best and have a super time.
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Old 9th November 2007, 17:42   #28
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Few good points are here.
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Old 9th November 2007, 21:20   #29
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6. Take photographs but only WITHOUT the FLASH
Guys with P&S cameras - pls note this point. The flash is anyway useless w.r.t the photograph because of the range at which the elephant is at. But you dont want unnecessary reaction from the pachyderm.

OT: @csentil Pls avoid posting 1200x1600 snaps - extends outside normal viewing area.

Last edited by condor : 9th November 2007 at 21:21.
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Old 9th November 2007, 21:46   #30
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Another reason to trash the MUSICAL REVERSE HORN.
Imagine trying to "quietly" reverse out of an elephant's path!!!

-- Torqy
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