Tough Catch!

Dare to watch a real game of catch? Here's why heading into the woods can be a great choice. From camouflage to brute force, this is as real as it gets!

A game of catch remains a fascination throughout one's life; whether as a game in the backyard as a child or while watching a nail-biting thriller. It is exciting to follow the strategy in use and getting to a result is sometimes less important than the game itself. While even the best suspense-filled plots we come across find their result soon enough, the game of catch in the jungle has a new twist every day.

Although a forest may represent peace and serenity, the jungle game of catch is more a matter of life and death. An animal in the forest could be the hunter or the hunted; the herbivores keep their eyes open for any signs of danger and find success when they spot a predator before it's too late, while the hunters have to keep the chase going, using every trick in their books to not be discovered too early, lest their prey gets away. With nature and its unpredictable ways, a strategy comes into play every minute and each day begins with a new game of catch, fraught with danger and adventure.

Being a tiger in a forest is akin to being a city celebrity, where every presence is recognised and every move is announced. When alarmed, an animal makes a call in a panic, to warn the jungle about the presence of a predator, this means that a tiger could barely move a muscle without being surrounded by alarm calls. With strength on its side, a healthy tiger could even bring down a young elephant, but it needs to be close enough to its target before it springs an ambush, as it wouldn't have the stamina to keep up a chase for a long distance. This is where camouflage and stealth come into play, for a tiger needs to be able to get really close to its prey before it attempts to attack, all this without being seen! 

Image Courtesy- sushil kumudini chikane-Shutterstock

Another big cat that often inhabits the same forests is the leopard, infamous for the number of times it has picked up an unsuspecting dog as its prey. Leopards face the same difficulties that tigers do, but the leopard is more adaptive to its size and type of prey and can also live in varied habitats.

The game of catch is played with skill at every level; raptors have a razor-sharp vision to spot a mouse in a field even while hovering high up in the sky. Elephants rely on their acute sense of smell to warn them about danger close by. Monkeys are agile and make a quick getaway by swinging from tree to tree. Some butterflies have patterns that help them blend into their surroundings to remain unnoticed, while many others have large spots on their wings that could look like the eyes of a larger animal!

Whether it is camouflage or skill, strong instincts or brute force, every animal uses every strength it owns to its fullest, with the sole purpose of surviving another day. So when you next lookout for an action-packed game of catch, perhaps a visit to the woods is exactly what you should be planning!

Surabhi Ganguly

Surabhi Ganguly

Jeevoka member since Sep 2019

An electronic engineer by training, I have spent over a decade working with a large multinational company as a Systems Engineer with postings in India and Europe. The outdoors have fascinated me ever since I was a little girl, and so I have curiously ventured the wild with my binoculars, a bird book and the wish to know my surroundings better. Over the last fifteen years, I have visited many national parks across the country and have had several up, close and personal experiences with wildlife that I am excited to share here!