Wildlife Photographer Captures Incredible Images of Multi-Colored Giant Squirrels | photographer

Fascinated by the incredible size of the Malabar giant squirrels, an Indian photographer has captured a series of incredible photos and videos of these brilliantly colored creatures.

Kaushik Vijayan, who has worked in the finance department of a multinational in Saudi Arabia for the past 15 years, currently resides in his hometown of Kerala, India. This 42-year-old man had an inclination for photography from a very young age, but he did not begin his career until he traveled to the Middle East and bought an automatic camera.

Then 5 years ago, he bought a DSLR camera and started exploring more. He experimented with subjects ranging from portraits to landscapes and eventually realized that photographing wildlife connected him the most.

(Courtesy of Kaushik Vijayan)

Vijayan continued to work on his skill and love of wildlife by challenging himself to improve.

“From casually taking photos as a hobby, I made it a routine of capturing at least one interesting photograph each day and comparing it to the one I had taken the day before in hopes of getting better each day,” Vijayan told The Epoch Times.

The amateur photographer was so committed to improving his art that he would drive almost 100 kilometers (62 miles) to capture images of wildlife, despite work shifts that started at 8 a.m.

It was then that Vijayan came across the Malabar giant squirrel near his wife’s residence in the Pathanamthitta forest in India.

(Courtesy of Kaushik Vijayan)

Malabar giant squirrels, endemic to India, can grow up to 36 inches long from head to tail and can jump up to 6 meters when moving between tree branches. Their stunning multi-colored fur, replete with shades of purple, maroon, hints of orange, and blue-black, distinguishes them from their more neutral brown, black, and gray relatives.

When Vijayan first encountered these species, he was amazed by the incredible size of the squirrels and said he was “speechless” by the animals’ movements – the way they moved through the trees and quickly waved their long lines, adding, “all while remaining unimaginably cute,” as they went about their activities.

Vijayan began capturing images of these amazing squirrels by taking a few random photos, and then went back to study their behavior, activities and movements. His biggest difficulty, he told us, was following the animals and then locating the best vantage point from which to photograph them.

(Courtesy of Kaushik Vijayan)

“Sometimes we can only find them deep in the forest that we can’t access,” explains Vijayan. “The speed at which the squirrels move through the trees also makes it very difficult to capture their photos.”

However, once he got that taken care of, “the rest of the process followed naturally,” he said.

All images are taken in raw format and then used light enhancement in Lightroom and Photoshop before converting the photos to other formats and sharing them on social networks.

His time spent observing the Malabar giant squirrel has not only advanced his photographic skills, but has also taught him a thing or two about this fascinating animal.

(Courtesy of Kaushik Vijayan)

Vijayan revealed that the generally “quiet” squirrel makes a much louder noise than other squirrels in the wild, especially in response to potential danger. He has also come to understand that his main food source is fruits, along with some tender leaves.

The talented photographer also spoke of his fondness for the fruits of the forest and the coconut.

“What piqued my curiosity was how these squirrels break open a whole coconut to drink the water inside,” said Vijayan. “That image still amazes me.”

(Courtesy of Kaushik Vijayan)

Vijayan is not the only one who is amazed; His photos of the Malabar giant squirrels have left others in awe as well.

“Everyone, including me, is amazed to see this beautiful creation of nature. Something unimaginable and at the same time precious”, said Vijayan describing the reactions he has received for the images he has shared on social networks.

(Courtesy of Kaushik Vijayan)

Since taking the images of the Malabar giant squirrels, Vijayan has photographed numerous wildlife and promotes his photos on Instagram and Facebook.

He also runs a wildlife Facebook page that has over 100,000 followers from around the world. His incredible series of photographs include a wide range of animals, from Saudi Arabian scorpions to turquoise Indian rollers; from red bulbul orpheus to googly-eyed nilgai. It is a true gallery of the vibrant and the peculiar among the wild creatures.

The former hobbyist is now dedicated to wildlife photography, something he never imagined in his wildest dreams, he said. Over time, his interest in and fascination with wildlife has only increased. What started as a simple hobby has become a work of passion and commitment, which allows others to also appreciate the beauty of the fascinating characters of nature.

“The sense of accomplishment I get from capturing each image keeps me going day after day,” says Vijayan.

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