These are from my January trip to Odisha (I'm spelling it the official, correct way). Believe it or not, I haven't had the time to go through all the dog photos till now.
This was my third trip to that state. We spent a week visiting exciting birding and wildlife areas: two sites on Chilika Lake, the mangrove forest Bhitarkanika National Park, and the little-known Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary. We travelled by road and stayed in community-managed tourist lodges, so we got to see a lot of village dogs.
Like many of our eastern states, Odisha has pure unmongrelized aboriginal dog populations in rural areas. 40 village INDogs were sampled here for the Cornell Village Dog Genetic Diversity Project.
Tricolour coats are quite rare in western and central Indian populations. In Odisha we saw them quite often.
It's been five years since my last visit and I noticed one big difference: many of the village and highway dogs now had skin problems with fur loss in patches. I think in many cases they might be connected with fleas. Any vets reading this post? What could be the reason for this?
Another difference, not relevant to this blog but very annoying for me personally, was the enormous increase in plastic trash, everywhere. Yes, EVERYWHERE.
Here are some of the dogs I clicked. I would tell our driver to stop whenever we saw one, and then I'd hop out of the car and rush across the highway to click before the dog went off.
After photographing a few dogs in this way and narrowly escaping being hit by many trucks and cars, I decided to change my strategy and only stop when there was a realistic chance of getting a photo without getting killed. And without giving our driver a heart attack.
So I had to pass up a whole lot of beautiful INDogs. But never mind.
Luckily I also had time to walk around some villages. Much easier. All late in the evening though, because we were in wildlife reserves all day.
|On the shore of a canal in Bhitarkanika|
|Near Hirakud, western Odisha (Central India)|
|At Satapada, Chilika Lake, near the sea mouth|
|This lady is the owner of the pups. Mangalajodi, Chilika Lake.|
There are many more photos, too many for one post. I'll do another Odisha post later.
Coming up soon: village dogs of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
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