We were on the last leg of our Ladakh adventure trip, after having seen a wide variety of high altitude bird species. What was interesting for me, was the stark beauty of the desert landscape and the striking similarity of the bird species with the mainland Desert species. I will leave it for another blog post 🙂
We were staying at Drass overnight, planning on crossing the zoji la next day to reach Srinagar. Just before our dinner, we were told that a mother bear with cubs visits to forage the dump for food regularly. The bear had visited every night for the past 3 nights! We were to be informed about the arrival of the bears that night, but alas, it was not to be…
We started early next morning at 3:30 am, to avoid getting stuck with lorry traffic trying to cross the pass in the morning. We were stopped for a few minutes, since the roads were bad from the last evening’s rain. Eventually only the cars were allowed to go. The bad weather was looming large over us. We were worried about crossing the Zojila pass without any hitch.
Suddenly Amith followed some movement to his right and spotted a Himalayan bear. It had gone behind a sheet of ice, but we decided to wait for it to come out. It was early in the morning at around 5:50 am, but there was enough light to get some pictures.
We were witness to something more dramatic after this. We noticed a group of Campers to our right below. There were 3 dogs from the group, that moved up towards the Bear and started barking at it! We were thrilled and watched this drama for quite sometime. That is when I decided to record a video of the event. Here it is!
After a few minutes, we were forced to move on, since all of the cars that were allowed to go with us have gone past long ago. BTW, we had some discussions on whether it was a Black bear or a Brown Bear, it did look very brown after all 🙂 But it was settled by the white V shaped chest mark that could be clearly seen..