Kanha National Park, located in India, is a nature reserve where inhabit tigers and a variety of wild species.
The increase in grasslands has favoured other species. Chitals and wild boar hide here and feed on the muddy plains, in the same way as the barasinghas.
Chitals are the most numerous large mammals in Kanha. They are extremely prolific and the adult females give birth to a young animal every six months. Their demographic increase could imply a problem for the Park, but it is curbed by the carnivores. Approximately 40% of tigers’ food is made up of chitals, and they are also an important element in the diet of leopards, wild dogs and jackals.
Chitals form into groups numbering approximately 15. In their feeding places, it is common to see them accompanied by a group of langurs***, with which they have reached an association which benefits them in a dual sense.
Langures form troops of between 10 and 20 animals of both sexes and all ages. They feed on a wide variety of fruits, berries, shoots and leaves, but are very selective when it comes to eating. They take a piece of fruit, have one or two bites and then throw it away before taking another. Similarly with leaves, where they only eat the stem. And the remainder is exactly what the chitals enjoy.
Langurs and chitals cohabit in perfect harmony. There is no mistrust between the females of the two species with offspring and the young play at ease in groups, without showing any fear of the animals of the other species.
Dholes, or wild dogs, are the second most powerful predators in the Park after the tiger. They hunt in packs of four or six, replacing each other in pursuit of their prey with a co-ordination that transforms them into magnificent hunters.
Dholes, called sonha kutta by the locals, are great runners that only hunt in the early and late hours of the day. In their chases, they are able to exhaust any animal and even tigers, at times, are wary of them.
When the remains of a prey are abandoned by the hunters, they are immediately seized upon by different species of carrion scavengers and opportunists. In Kanha there are four species of vulture and a large population of jackals, between which fierce competition is wagered.
The jackals are stronger and more intelligent than the vultures. In fact they are both carrion scavengers and efficient hunters, although not as well organised as their cousins, the dholes. When they find a carcass or catch a prey, they are the first to eat, despite having to fend off the pillaging assays of the astute vultures.