About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dogs and jackals in the Black Hills of Kutch

The Great Rann of Kutch is one of my favourite places in the world. Spectacular white salt marshes that resemble a lunar landscape, rare wild species, ruins of the Indus civilization...it's hard for me to describe this unique spot without sounding like a tourist brochure.

And now Yashesh Shethia has made it even more interesting, with this amazing jackal story and pictures.

On a recent road trip he and his wife came upon a temple in the Black Hills where there is an ancient tradition of feeding jackals. Every evening at sunset the priests give them "prasad" (food that has first been offered in worship).

Above: Jackals waiting to be fed. For those interested in wildlife, jackals are classified as Canis Aureus and live on carrion among other things, though they also hunt small animals and poultry. The species is related to the domestic dog but is not its ancestor. However, jackals and domestic dogs can interbreed.

Above: The tradition is explained on this board, along with the legend that when there was no food, the god Dattatreya offered the jackals a part of his body.

Below: The priests are very humane, and they are equally kind to the jackal's domesticated cousin, the dog. This one is kept as a pet in the temple and is very popular with all the visitors there.

Below: This long-suffering mother and her pups were in Anjar

Below: Another dog in Anjar

Yashesh, thanks for these pictures. I now have yet another reason for running off to the Rann!

Photos: Yashesh Shethia
Great Rann of Kutch

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