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Elusive Bear Cat of Singalila

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Though I was planning this trip for the past two years, but this month my long waited wish come true in life. The plan is to search for elusive endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens in high altitude himalayan region in the Indo-Nepal border. Singalila National park, located in the north eastern Himalaya of Indio-Nepal border is considered to be among the few pockets where this species can be found. I decided to trek through the various mountain patch rather than taking the world famous 4*4 Land Rover which makes the trip more physically challenging but every effort in the field is worth considering the hope of finding the Red firefox. Everyday, from dawn to dusk, I walked throughout the day with my camera gear to track the species along with the local Red Panda tracker. Being an nocturnal arboreal mammal and solitary species it is very difficult  to spot them and even if you spot, it is not always ideal situation with respect to photography. In Singalila national park most of the times you need to search for species from the steppe gravel road which is also the trekking route to Sandakphu and Phalut. You cannot venture into the forest or go anywhere you want because deep gorges can be dangerous and risky. There were some muddy patch where you can go but with utmost care and precautions. After hardcore hiking of two days, I was blessed to have a glimpse of this beauty. Firefox was relaxing inside the bushy branch of Kiwi tree. Usually this time of the year they feed on the fruits of Kiwi, Sarbush etc and once the fruits season is over they feed on the Bamboo steaks. It was indeed a fantastic and memorable experience to venture into the high altitude rugged himalayan terrain and looking for this elusive bear cat. Hopefully I will again return back there very soon. A lot of places to be explored. 🙂

Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens in Singalila National Park, Himalaya
Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens in Singalila National Park, Himalaya

 

Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens feeding on fruits in Singalila National Park, Himalaya by Arindam Bhattacharya
Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens feeding on fruits in Singalila National Park, Himalaya

 

Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens feeding on the fruits in Singalila National Park, Himalaya.
Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens feeding on the fruits in Singalila National Park, Himalaya.

 

Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens in Singalila National Park, Himalaya by Arindam Bhattacharya
Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens in Singalila National Park, Himalaya

 

Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens in Singalila National Park, Himalaya by Arindam Bhattacharya
Endangered Red Panda or Ailurus fulgens in Singalila National Park, Himalaya

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