Jayanti is a small village within Buxa Tiger Reserve in Alipurduar district of West Bengal. On the 7th of August, 2018, three of us had been out watching butterflies around there, and had started on our way back at around 2 pm. We were walking along the river Jayanti, when suddenly, something caught our attention. It was a feral dog, holding a water monitor in its mouth.
We noticed that they were both biting each other. The water monitor is fairly common in West Bengal, and is a species that can live alongside human habitation. This is one of the larger species of monitors, and the second heaviest lizard species in the world, next only to the Komodo Dragon. Being a semiaquatic species, it has an advantage of being able to use different techniques to escape predators. Despite this advantage, it was under the clutches of this dog.
As we proceeded forward for a better view, the dog seemed to get more aggressive and eventually threw the water monitor into the nearby stream.
The water monitor was wounded and trying to move slowly. Blood from its wounds was dripping into the water. We waited there for a while to see if there would be any further movement, but then left the place. Although the dog didn’t get to consume the monitor, such incidents are a grave threat to wildlife.
Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
At CI we have featured feral dogs hunting all manner of wild animals, but this one is a first! Feral dogs, whether solitary or in packs, clearly spare no wildlife, but sadly, this thorny problem still eludes practical solutions.