with Dhangars, Maharashtra
One of the chief predators in the dry and deciduous grasslands of the Deccan plateau. Ravaged by development infrastructure, real estate, cotton and sugarcane farming, the grasslands have shrunk, taking with them a large population of the wolf. Far from rejoicing, the Dhangars say they are left poorer; The wolves, they say kept them in balance. Taking away the weak ones, and keeping the herds trim. For shepherds of the Deccan plateau, a lamb lifted by the wolf is accepted as an offering to the gods; even a visitation from the divine. The Kuruma shepherds of Telengana, for instance, consider wolves to be ‘lakshmi’, the harbinger of wealth and good luck.