Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Elephant Sanctuary (them) / Elephant Tales

Last week, I shared some (well, a lot) of pictures from our experience with elephants this past January. I think ellies are some of the most incredible animals out there. They cry, they remember each other and people…

They are protective and they can pick up a grain of rice with their trunks!

And they are just adorable. They're like the perfect best friend!

We're best buds.
Here are even more pictures of just the ellies themselves and some stories to go along with them - both from my experience and some one else's - it's fascinating!

Two weeks ago, hubby and I and some friends went out to a game reserve to go camping. I'll share more about that soon but while we were there, I got to talk to the lead elephant researcher for that park. Here's a story she told me:

At another game reserve that she worked at, there was an elephant (I can't remember his name, so we'll call him Rambo) who was always causing trouble. He wasn't apart of the main herd and was always chasing off (charging) vehicles that came in to observe. And no one ever stood up to him (understandably). So, this woman decided she had to put her foot down with him if his behaviour was ever going to change.

Side note: After the elephants got out of the water, they started dumping dirt on their heads and backs with their trunks! Hubby and I were a little dumbfounded - why were they doing that?! Turns out: the dirt keeps the moisture in so that they actually stay cool, rather than the water evaporating and the ellies getting too hot. Brilliant!

She went out in her little Jeep one day to an area she knew Rambo would be in. As she sat in her Jeep, true to form, Rambo saw her and with ears flapping, forcefully approached her vehicle. He came galloping up to her window, put his face next to the door (with window down), snorted and continued to flap his ears. This behaviour, she explained, was to intimidate her to basically run away. But she did not. She sat there, hands gripping the steering wheel, and didn't move. For 45 minutes. FORTY FIVE! (How scary is that?!)

After 45 minutes, Rambo shook his head and slowly walked away. Her tactic worked! And he never charged her vehicle again (although he continued to charge other vehicles in the park). Like a rebellious teenager. Elephants are so much like people, it's unbelievable!

I can't get over them. The pictures below were taken while I rode on top of one of the ellies.

The elephant I rode at the Elephant Sanctuary was about the age of a teenager. He was a bit feisty. At the end of the ride, I was given a bag with apples and other fruits to give him. (Note: At the beginning of the interactions, we were told that if, at any point, we drop something, do not pick it up. You may look "weakened" in front of the ellies and they could kick you or step on you.) Towards the end of the fruit, I accidentally dropped the bag. (Of course.) Before I could even think about what to do, the elephant picked it up with his trunk and took off! It was like he knew we wasn't supposed to have it. He ran off, swinging the bag in the air with his trunk, while the workers tried to stop him. It was actually hysterical to watch (and I was quietly rooting for the elle). Eventually he dropped the bag. :)

Heading home for the evening. :)

Hope you enjoyed these!


PS - I promise that's it on the elephants for a while. ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me. :)