Fighting Chitals

Survival of the fittest

As we enter the Lush green forests of the western ghats the first common mammal we see are the Spotted deers. As the name suggest Chital has bright spots on its body. Out of the deer species Chital is the most beautiful of them.

The place was teeming with spotted deers and i was sitting in my car admiring the beauty of these wonderful handcrafted creation of god. Just then I saw these elusive males sticking their razor sharp antlers against each other, they were fighting for a doe.The rutting call of an adult stag is a loud bellow and quite often fierce fight between two stags can be seen for possession of hinds. There are no territorial fights Among Chitals, the fights when happens are mainly for protecting the doe from other stags.The horn or the antler is the most important and fascinating part of a deer. The process starts gradually and with each shedding it grows more and finally takes its shape. During the growing of the antlers a soft shining skin covers the antlers and is known as “velvet”. This skin is highly sensitive as it is fed by many blood vessels and can be injured easily. Males sporting hard antlers are dominant over those in velvet or those without antlers, irrespective of their size and other factors.

The Tuk,Tuk,Tuk sound continued, we sat in our car watching the breath taking scene leaving the chitals undisturbed. Both the Exasperated males took down each other to vanquish their opponents. They were pushing each other from one end to another end. Their was eerie silence in the forest and all the other chitals were staring at the vicious fight for the doe. After 5-6 minutes of horn Striking finally the Rightful owner for the doe was decided, the dominant male decide to chase out the other male out of the group. He was mercilessly Kicked out of the small group of chitals as the others watched in wonder. I was mesmerised, I remember every second of this Vivid experience. The scene Etched in my mind for ever.

Only the fittest of the fittest shall stay alive-Bob Marley.

Nagarhole National Park – August 2015

Sai Sankarsh

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