An Indian giant squirrel Ratufa indica finds itself uncharacteristically stranded on the forest floor in Nagarahole’s Kabini forest. A tree upper-canopy dwelling species, the squirrel rarely leaves the refuge of heavily-branched trees in which it builds its nest. The long tail helps the agile rodent balance as it bounds with ease along its branch-highways. Exceptionally strong hind leg muscles enable the rodent to leap astounding distances spanning six metres from tree to tree when escaping predators including raptors, leopards and martens, or accessing ripe fruit, flowers, nuts and even bird’s eggs.
Photo: Gaurav Ramnarayanan