“Adventure” at Agra Fort

'I believe any trip in search of wildlife can be coupled with physical activity and elements of cultural diversity to form a thrilling opportunity '
John H.Eickert

Adventure is an act of placing oneself into an unfamiliar situation then partnered with vigorous activity creating a situation, which makes the heart, beat faster, the mind spin, and the lungs pump. Perhaps the most important element of adventure is the unfamiliar, the going into the unknown where the outcome of the event is not certain. The American, Helen Keller, once wrote, “Life is an adventure, if nothing at all.” I would add that adventure could be entered into without intention.

I watched the sunrise on the Taj Mahal then decided to walk the distance to the Agra Fort or Red Fort along the banks of the Yamuna River . I previously noticed a young European girl at the Taj Mahal and was now following her at a distance with the hope of meeting her. She was not unattractive. She walked at a brisk pace and it was difficult to keep up. In Nehru Park , very near the Red Fort, she stopped and chatted with a local man. I gladly slowed down and watched. They chatted briefly, then he handed her what appeared to be some money. She continued and I hurriedly followed. We arrived at the entrance gate, and after purchasing a ticket, she joined a tour group. I did the same, doing my best to be near her without being too aggressive. She smelled wonderful and was more attractive up close than from afar. She was friendly with everyone in our group and was instantly liked. I convinced myself she was flirting with me. As we toured and listened, I could feel my heart beat faster, my mind swirl, and breathing become quick and shallow. At the terrace near the Black Marble Throne, overlooking the Yamuna our group stopped and the guide who had been lecturing our group started in about the Hindu architecture. Our tour and lecture were near their end. I felt it was time to make my move. Just then, the man from Nehru Park interrupted our guide and began providing more information. The small man was an excellent speaker and he ended by inviting us to his small shop, near the gate, for tea and a chance to view precious gems. The girl I had been following seemed overly delighted with the invitation and her enthusiasm soon had the entire group in agreement to visit the man's shop for tea and a chance to purchase precious gems.

Had I not seen the girl and the man together in the park I probably would have gone along to the shop after the tour ended, but the spell her looks cast on me was broken. I realized she worked for the shop owner and once the group was at the shop, she would encourage the tourists to spend their money on his trinkets. Composed and thinking again, I decided to walk back to the Taj Mahal.

The spirit of adventure is everywhere in our daily lives, even in a casual walk between known places. Cheers.

Visit or call NumBum Adventurers at 406-777-2228

Amazing Facts About Wildlife

Amazing Facts about Indian Wildlife

-Dr. Susan Sharma

Did you know moths use perfume to attract their mate? This one's life history is quite bizarre. It goes through adult life without eating anything.

The Moon moth : The most obvious feature of this handsome moth is the long tail that adorns each hind wing. Many of the silk moths are named after mythological Greek figures. The luna moth or moon moth is named after the moon. Silk moths do not eat or drink as adults. The moths don't even have mouths. All the eating is done as a caterpillar. The caterpillar must eat enough food to allow it the energy to spin a cocoon, transform into a moth and then to give the moth enough stored energy to survive for approximately 1 week after hatching from the cocoon. It's not surprising, therefore, that silk moth caterpillars EAT A LOT!

A female moon moth will lay between 200-300 eggs over a two day period. Soon thereafter she will die. Eggs will hatch within 10 days. The larval stage generally takes between 30-42 days. Each larva will progress through 5 stages, punctuated by molts. An insect's skin does not grow along with its body! It stretches until it cannot stretch any further. Then the larva will become quiet for a time and eventually molt or shed its skin. The caterpillar can then start eating again. Mature moon larvae can be 3- 4 inches in length. When the larva is fully mature, it will begin to spin a silk cocoon around itself, often using leaves as added camouflage. The silk is spun from silk glands at the mouth end of the larva. Once the cocoon has been spun, the larva will shed its skin inside the cocoon for the last time, becoming a pupa. Inside the cocoon, the pupa will complete its development into a moth.

After about 4 weeks, the moth will push its way through the cocoon and emerge, its wings still tiny. The moth must then climb up some kind of support and pump fluid into its wings making them expand to their full size. Gravity helps the wings to expand. After about 1 hour the moth will have completed its wing expansion and will wait until nightfall before becoming active. Moths will often sit for several days, as they wait for a male to find them. The tails of the moon moth are thought to act as a lure for predators such that any would be predator getting close enough will be drawn away from the body.The male moths respond to a chemical mixture called a pheromone that is released by the females.Males use their large branched antennae (See the photograph above)to detect this chemical in the air and they follow this chemical trail often for miles to find the source, the female moth. The female moth has only a few days to find a mate. After 3-4 days she will begin laying infertile eggs whether or not she has mated.

( Photograph of moon moth by Jayant Deshpande. Click here to see more photographs by Jayant )

Answers To Quiz Of The Month

Right Answers to Quiz on animal(wild) rescue and breeding in India

This month no one have given all right answers, only has given 9 right answers.

Right Answer toQuiz on animal(wild) rescue and breeding in India

1.Star tortoises seized by Malaysian CITES authorities have been brought back to India and rehabilitated in
  • Sri Venketeswara Z.P, Tirupati, Andhra
  • Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore
  • Anna Zoological Park, Chennai

  • 2.During the year 2003, 48 lions rescued from circuses were rehabilitated at
  • Rescue center in Vishakha pattanam
  • rescue centers in Rajasthan, Bangalore and Chennai
  • Rescue centre in New Delhi

  • 3.Till date, the Central Zoo Authority of India has rehabilitated -------lions from various circuses in India
  • 239
  • 120
  • 89

  • 4.A program for releasing captive bred red panda has been initiated in
  • State Zoo, Nainital
  • Assam State Zoo, Guwahati
  • Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Z.P, Darjeeling

  • 5.----------------------------have been imported from San Diego Zoo, USA for supplementing the existing captive population
  • 13 red pandas
  • 13 white tigers
  • 13 lion tailed macaques

  • 6.Deer Park, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, is the participating zoo for breeding this endangered species
  • Chinkaara
  • lion tailed macaque
  • Nilgiri Tahr

  • 7.Van Vihar National Park Bhopal is the participating zoo for breeding
  • four horned antelope
  • chinkaara
  • swamp deer

  • 8.Breeding program for the Asiatic wolf is on in
  • six zoos in India
  • two zoos in India
  • four zoos in India

  • 9.Hollock Gibbon breeding program is overseen by
  • Chief Wildlife Warden, Nagaland
  • Chief Wildlife Warden, West Bengal
  • Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam

  • 10.Attempts are going on to breed ----------different species of pheasants, which are endangered, in different zoos
  • Eleven
  • Five
  • Two

  • Please try our quiz for the current month on Gruiformes

    Burning Issues

    Burning Issues


    Gardening for wildlife


    Ms.Promila Chaturvedi is a freelance landscape designer whose organization "Gardens India" undertakes a number of projects in landscaping and gardening.


    These evergreen/deciduous herbs, shrubs, climbers, trees and perennials are grown for their showy flowers. They are hardy and can be grown in temperate and tropical climate equally well. They flourish in full sun and humus-rich, well drained soil. Tip prune young plants to make them bushy and plants are to be hard pruned after flowering season. Green/semi-ripe cutting and grafting propagate the shrubs and the trees. Division in spring multiplies perennials. The main enemies are white flies and aphids .

    This genus has several varieties and hybrids. A large number of them are indigenous to India and also hybridized here. They are available as single flowering, semi-double and double flower varieties. There are tall, medium and dwarf varieties. They can successfully be grown in containers as well as in ground. They have longer flowering season so they need heavy doses of manure.

    A well-rot farm-yard-manure/compost, bone-meal and neem-cake can take care of the plant. Though hundreds of new varieties come every year in the market, a few old ones are worth mentioning-

    Old Indian Hybrids-

    Agnes-- Cyclamen pink----large flower

    Albus-- Pure white free bloomer

    Chitra--- Orange-red

    Lipstic-- Blood red

    Rosa-sinensis -- Scarlet crimson

    Schizopetalus -- Red streaked white (Japanese lantern-See picture above)

    Some double varieties are—

    Alipur Beauty -- Large reddish pink

    Daffodil-- Large yellow

    Mahatma-- Cadmium orange

    Mutabilis alba - White

    These plants are not only grown for their beautiful flowers but they are also grown for medicinal and food purpose.

    News and Views

    News & Views


      Given below are a few very good suggestions given by our members in theonline feedbackform.

    • Animal sponsorship. Members can pay a small donation to sponsor a particular species or programme. Great way of generating cash that can be put directly back into the environment.
    • The site should have meetings and discussions with members at some halls and should inform the members about wild life breaking news by their e mails
    • Perhaps you would like to ask for contributions from the members. I would like to contribute views and short articles from time to time, as I already write short middles for the Times of India. How do I contribute?

    Our comments.  

    Team IWC do hope that one day we will have enough funds to start sponsoring animals. As you all know we do not accept donations from anyone, but sponsorships for specific projects/activities are welcome.

    Meeting in groups to discuss issues is an excellent idea and we believe some of our members are already taking the initiative to create local groups for bird watching/ trekking/ film viewing etc. About wildlife breaking news emails, one is not too sure, since most of us receive more mails than we can manage. But we are considering introducing a weekly bulletin on breaking news sometime.

    Contributing to “Wildbytes” is easy. Just send in your original contribution (300-400 words with at least one photograph to illustrate) If scanned photos are used, please give source details. We accept only online contributions.

    Archives of IWC

    Did you know that we have 42 quiz programs on wildlife and environment waiting in our archives to be explored?

    Quiz on Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ) in India

    Quiz on Wildlife poaching

    Quiz on Cranes and Storks

    Quiz on Bird Sanctuaries of India

    Quiz on history of National Parks of India

    Quiz on rainforests

    Quiz on Wildlife Films made in India

    Quiz on Non human primates

    Quiz on Captive Elephants

    Quiz on Sea Turtles

    Quiz on Asiatic Lions

    Quiz on wetlands

    Quiz on tiger poaching

    Quiz on elephant poaching

    Quiz on Threatened fauna of India

    Quiz on Parks Sanctuaries of India

    Quiz on Frogs and Toads

    Quiz on Deer and Antelopes

    Quiz on Pheasants

    Quiz on leopards

    Quiz on Trees

    Quiz on Coral Reefs

    Quiz on Reptiles

    Quiz on Large Mammals

    Quiz on elephants-Part IV

    Quiz on elephants-Part III

    Quiz on elephants-Part II

    Quiz on are we poisoning our Home Planet?

    Quiz on Tiger Facts

    Quiz on Nature Spots of India

    Quiz on Parks Sanctuaries of India :

    Quiz on Common Trees

    Quiz on Birds

    Quiz on Mammals

    Quiz on Butterfly

    Quiz on Snakes

    Quiz on Apes

    Quiz on tigers

    Quiz on elephants

    Quiz on waste management

    Quiz on corals

    Quiz on poaching

    You can submit the answers online to test your knowledge. As soon as you submit the answers, we also provide you with a link for the correct answers.

    Calling all Parents, Uncles and Aunties to consider giving your young family members a gift after they finish the final examinations! GIFT them aPREMIUM MEMBERSHIPof Indian Wildlife Club!!!!!!

    And VIEWS………….

      “ In my opinion, investing in the protection and conservation of the environment, including the Congo basin ecosystem, would be pre-emptying future conflicts and instead investing in peace. This is the message that the Norwegian Nobel Committee sent to the world when it awarded the 2004 prize to me. We must rethink peace and security and promote activities that promote cultures of peace.”

      -Wangari Maathai, who received the Nobel Peace prize last year for her dedication to the conservation of the environment by planting trees all over Africa , in her address to the FAO meeting on forests in Rome on 15 March 2005  


    The Scent of a Woman

    Toby Ninan retired from Delhi Zoo about two years back. With his varied experiences with the wild animals in the zoo, he is the right person to direct your queries to. Hear what Ninan has to say about his life and chosen career!

    Elephants do not like strong scents. I think I have written a story sometime back too about wearing a strong scent which nearly cost me my life!

    Well this time it was a well- meaning guest of the zoo who got into trouble. Well, there was this lady who was the daughter of a V.I.P who really enjoyed going round the zoo. Usually it is a bored guest whom I have to take around and have to raise his/her interest by telling stories; at the end of the visit he /she is converted into a zoo fan and I get repeat visits. This time around things were going smoothly till we reached the elephant enclosure. At this time we had stopped elephant rides in the zoo and this meant the elephant had little contact with the general public. I tried to explain all this to my pretty guest in as polite a manner as I could. But the lady was adamant and wanted to pet my big female elephant. The strong perfume worn by the lady had raised warning bells in my mind that too much proximity with an elephant can be dangerous.

    To cut a long story short, this lady insisted on walking up to the elephant to pat her. She started stroking the side of the elephant's trunk- all seemed well. Just as I was heaving a sigh of relief, the elephant gave a good tug to the “pallu” of the lady's saree. Off it came in a trice and the tug was so unexpected and forceful that the lady was rolling on the concrete floor of the elephant platform as the saree unraveled itself.

    The mahouts were quick to act and their yelling coupled with mine made the elephant let go of the saree. The girl, though frightened took things sportingly when told that the elephant did not like her scent. But the episode was a serious event and we were lucky the elephant did not become violent in any way. The damage was minimal. But it made me resolve once and for all never to introduce anyone wearing a perfume to an elephant!

    ( Photo courtesy: Jyotsna, with a trained elephant carrying tourists in Corbett National Park )

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