Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Bheemeshwari, Karnataka

Deepa Mohan

The Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) is listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and hunting. The strongholds for the squirrel are Srivilliputtur Grizzled Squirrel Sanctuary and Chinnar wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, and the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka.

These arboreal creatures seem to thrive at the Bheemeshwari and Galibore Fishing Camps of Jungle Lodges and Resorts (part of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary), and the two that I started seeing several years ago are now about 10 in number, according to Tanu, who works in the office and is extremely interested in the animal. We were incredibly lucky to see a mother feeding its offspring.

In a recent development, wildlife conservationists and enthusiasts cheered the near-doubling of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary from 526.95 sq km to 1027.53 sq km.

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