Chatting Over Chai: Meet India’s Beautiful Rosettes
Conan Dumenil and Surya Ramachandran are wild about cats. These avid Expedition Leaders are back with another installment of “tea time travel,” introducing us to India’s three rosetted felines: the Indian leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard. India has the largest diversity of wild cats in the world, and while its famous tigers get the most attention, these three are our guides’ favorites—equally intriguing and more enigmatic. The “rosettes” get their name from the intricate markings on their coats, ring shapes that resemble a rose and provide masterful camouflage in dense vegetation. These apex predators use their rosettes to simulate the shifting of shadows and shade, helping them hide from their prey. Learn about their biology, habitats and environmental challenges as our guides share stories of their encounters with these beautiful and beguiling animals — and discover where nature travelers have the best chance to see them. Surya and Conan have been guiding trips for a combined period of almost 25 years, from summer tiger photo safaris to winter snow leopard tracking expeditions. They have extensively documented wildlife across India and have authored field guides and numerous articles—you’ll enjoy a chai chat with these naturalist pros!
Originally presented September 10, 2021
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