I love elephants. These majestic beings know things about living on this earth…. the kinds of things I believe we have lost touch with in our mostly urban pursuits.
I have had the absolute privilege of sharing space with elephants. A couple of whom I have got to know quite well, I flatter myself.
They are as unique in character as we are. They have their good days and their bad just like us…. and I truly believe they have a sense of humour.
The photos above show one such ellie. A charming character who would share our Okavango Delta island a months each year while the marula fruit were around to enjoy. One day a tree came down over our office/storeroom scattering marula fruit throughout the little enclosed courtyard. As afternoon descended he approached the office, low rumbling to let us know he was there. Leaving me no time to vacate the office, he squeezed through a small gap between the buildings making his way into the little courtyard. He proceeded to find every single marula he could on the roof, on the ground, carefully maneuvering around this small enclosed space. After a half hour or so of foraging he made ready to leave through the same gap he had came through. This took him past the open office door where I was sitting quite still, overwhelmed by the moment. I hadn’t noticed the marula that had rolled on to the floor inside the office just a few feet from where I was sitting. He paused his head filling the door space. He lifted his trunk and sniffed, then turning his head slightly he gave a long look. It took probably just a moment but to me it was a MOMENT. Then quite calmly he pushed his whole head through the doorway into the office, reached out his trunk and took the marula fruit near my feet. A sideways movement to get his head back out the door, he took the gap between the buildings and melted into the twilight.
He was surrounded by humans and human structures that entire time. He knew we meant him no harm. He just wanted those delicious marula fruit.
I will remember that incredible moment as long as I live. A treasured memory I hold close.
To me a world without elephants is unthinkable. Unfortunately, they face ongoing challenges sharing a world with humanity.
Luckily I am not the only one who loves elephants. In fact, there is an incredible conservation collective who have dedicated their lives to elephant conservation.
This weekend on Saturday 8 August a first in elephant conservation is taking place – a virtual elephant collaring! From the comfort of your couch you can get a front row seat to experience what happens when elephant are fitted with radio collars to track their movement and gather valuable data to help in their protection and conservation. So exciting! I have booked my ticket! Will you?
Find all the information you need here – Virtual Elephant Collaring – this will let you know who is behind this awe-inspiring project, why it is necessary and how you can be a part of this world first! Get involved!
I don’t think that Carla from the Blue Sky Society, the brains behind this initiative, or Dr Michelle from Elephants Alive planned it this way but World Elephant Day is 12 August! Or perhaps they did. What a fitting way to celebrate all things elephant this year!