There was something special about the morning of May 28. I was immersing myself in the mystic beauty of nature on a visit to Babudaying -- a hillock some ten kilometres from Chapainawabganj town.
Momentarily, I lost myself in the greenery, my feet nestled in the grass. Then suddenly, from the shrubs, emerged a flash of gold. It was an Asiatic Jackal, also known as a Golden jackal.
Although nocturnal creatures, this particular jackal had decided to make a surprise appearance, making an otherwise quite walk into an adventure through the wild.
I immediately tried to hide behind a tree, hoping to take a photo and capture an unforgettable memory. The jackals are very cunning and shy, so at the slightest hint of my presence, it would escape into the foliage.
The wolf-like canid stood in his place and looked around. He did not seem to be foraging; perhaps it was curiosity, or boredom, which had drawn it out of the holes they sometimes call home.
From behind the tree, I managed to snap a few pictures. I was lucky that day.
Generally, the jackal comes out after dusk to visit farmyards and villages in search of food. It’s a common sight for locals, but I had never come this close to one before. I waited for it to make its famous call, locally called the “hukka-hua”. The call never came though. But the jackal did and, for then, it was enough.
As I began to return home, I thought once again of the jackal and its dwindling numbers due to the destruction of its habitat. Often, they come into conflict with locals.
Although it is widely distributed across the country, and classified in the “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it remains a protected animal under the Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation and Security) Act, 2012.
And this is rightfully so: after all, a glimpse of the animal can make quite the golden memory for any one.