When you think about India and Bangladesh, you probably imagine lots of elephants, tigers, rhinos, monkeys and poisonous snakes. On my first visit, I thought I would encounter exotic animals but I saw none. These animals are endangered and their remaining populations are confined to national parks, nature reserves and rescue centers.
So what sort of animals have I seen during my fieldwork?
On this trip, I have seen scorpions, lizards, monkeys, spiders, livestock, fish and lots and lots of dogs.
We collected a rock sample right next to this scorpion. Luckily he didn't move because it was a cold morning.
We saw one dog with 11 puppies! Cows, chickens and goats roam around freely and Suren (our driver) often has to honk to get them to move out of the road.
We have also seen a lot of water buffalo that are used to pull carts.
We did some fieldwork near a monkey rescue center here in Meghalaya, India. The Western Hoolock Gibbon is an endangered species native to this area so they breed and release Gibbons here. They also rescue other monkeys that have been illegally kept as pets. They currently have Gibbons named Remi and Robinson.
I saw this wild monkey up on an outcrop while we were working in Assam, India. Sadly, his habitat was being destroyed to make way for construction. There are so many people here in Bangladesh and India that there aren’t many undisturbed places for wild animals to live anymore.