The beauty of the dense jungles of Chitwan, is augmented by the fact that it is teeming with wildlife. Here one can find the world’s largest terrestrial mammal, a five tonne elephant; to one of the world’s smallest mammals the pygmy shrew, weighing under seven grams! Chitwan National Park has 68 recorded species of mammals; among them are Tigers, leopards, sloth bears, gaur, rhinos and wild dogs to the smaller species like porcupines, otters, martens and shrews. The rivers and ox bow lakes specially are fabulous spots to see the Marsh crocodiles (Mugger) and the iconic long snouted “Gharial”, a crocodilian species endemic to the Indian subcontinent. Several species of deer like the spotted deer, barking deer and sambar are common along with the shy hog deer, which often keep to the safety of the elephant grass. The proximity of Chitwan to the Himalayas gives the park a geographical advantage, making it an ideal shelter for birds migrating both in winter and summer. Indigenous and migrant species like Great Hornbill, Painted storks, Pied Kingfishers and Red Headed Trogon are a few of the most exotic birds seen here. Chitwan is a high priority destination for serious birders as the total tally of birds recorded here is over 600.