Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Elephant Story

As promised - a photo-story about elephants today.

It happened during the last tour in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve - we rounded a corner and there before us, a young elephant male takes a mud-bath.

Suddenly he notices that he isn't alone anymore.

Not sure if we represent a possible threat, he lifts his trunk to clean his eyes so he can see better. First his left eye..........

............then his right eye.

Yes, that's better. But obviously, our young male elephant doesn't like what he sees: a safari vehicle filled with gawking and happily snapping tourists.

Determined to demonstrate that he isn't in the least intimidated by us, he moves closer, ears flapping.

Guess who won this "battle"? Not sure if it was a mock attack or a real show of aggression, our ranger reverses.

Having made his point, the elephant bull loses interest in us - or has he sensed the presence of others?

And there they are - close by, a herd of females and youngsters. As our young bull happily rushes towards the herd drinking at the nearby river, our attention is caught and held by the antics of the herd.

For a while, camera clicking "furiously", I concentrate on two young females drinking "in tandem"........

........ or like a mirror-image of each other.

Eventually and after having their fill, the herd leisurely moves on.

And now for the highlight - a "goose-flesh" moment: the herd "congregates" around the tiniest amongst them; carefully trudging on whilst protectively surrounding the baby elephant.

There they go - leaving a lasting impression on all those privileged to have experienced this endearing encounter.

No comments: