This photo is Africa! A breeding herd of female Elephants hanging around a river, bathing, frolicking, and relaxing, is an iconic scene that I could watch for hours. Never an animal to linger anywhere for too long, Ndlovus (Zulu) stealthily roam the veld, eating hundreds of pounds of food a day. Always on the move, an elephant can travel up to fifty miles a day, occasionally stopping by water to drink and cool themselves or perhaps to wait until a female gives birth. Sometimes the entire family unit circles around a female delivering a new calf to the herd, protecting her from all sides.
The matriarch, sometimes the oldest female, rules in an elephant community. She must have wisdom, have a proven record of leadership, protect her herd from all dangers, teach the young about proper elephant behavior, and have the experience and confidence to guide her herd through the dangerous life in the bush.
These powerful descendants of the wooly mammoth are also quite dangerous. I can’t tell you how many times I have rounded a corner and come face to face with one lone Elephant or a herd crossing the road. I have learned how to drive in reverse as easily as going forward. Don’t mess with Ellies. They’ll flip a car with their powerful bodies as easily as a human turns over a stone.
Elephants with a memory of humans hurting or killing someone in their family are particularly dangerous. It’s true; they do not forget the tragedies caused by human interference, human greed, and human’s disregard for an Elephant’s life. Humans = danger! Humans = the greatest threat to elephants!
Aside from dealing with homo sapiens, the great destroyer of all things beautiful, Elephants are intelligent, compassionate, generous, social, and magnificent examples of how to care for each other.
There’s so much more to go on about when it comes to ellies. But for now, I don’t know about you, but I want to be more like an Elephant.
#elephantlove #elliesinthebush #writing #lastmonthsinsouthafrica #beanelephant #elephants