“A Gaur was unusually  found, tranquilized and captured in remote reserve forest of Nizamabad on 13th June 2015, it was loaded in container and was motored straight to Kawal Tiger Reserve for release”.

Our team was returning back to Hyderabad from Kawal Tiger Reserve concluding our trip, we stopped the Bolero at a tea joint near Kadam. Imran got busy with a call with forest staff that a Gaur is reaching Kawal with veterinary doc and team. We soon decided to go back to Kawal to be part of this episode.

There was an excitement all around,  the night was long for the team and wait went unto wee hours of the 14th June morning, at least 40 persons reached the spot most of them from forest department.

On the way we met G Ravinder the in charge DFO and I spent some time with him as we discussed the release. Imran later joined him and went to Kadam as well for getting along the truck carrying the game.

Vamshi, Amar, Yellam, Shankar, Tirupathi all were excited throughout the night and we all reached the chosen spot Kalpakunta for the release.

Instead of detailing the entire episode I put the shots in sequence.

For me it was a nervy situation as the Gaur charged towards us and just passed by me as I was in corner, earlier I had decided to hide in bamboo on bund to capture the release shots. But to an advise I just got down to the open land where our fellow hyticos members Vamshi, Tirupathi, Yellam were standing, on the release within 2 seconds the Gaur ran and reached us! I just got less than quarter of sec to get out of its way, it was that close! It sneezed as it ran passed me.

But I held my nerve and took his last shot from hind, in a breather it was lost in wilderness!

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Born Free!

text and photos by Asif Siddiqui