Monday, October 28, 2013

Elephant thoughts...by Luca

Yesterday afternoon I took two friends in the Chyulu forest, for a lovely afternoon walk.

We explored a corner of the forest I love, where an old bull elephant went to die.

His skull is still there, and so are others of his big bones.
Elephants in Orangarua, Kuku Plains, photo by my friend John Fletcher
The bones were not where I remembered them; we could see all over traces of where elephants had drug their trunks, moving bones. A hip was moved at the based of a huge fig tree. I explained to my guests how elephants are know to mourn their kind.

I told my friends elephant stories by Tony Dyer, taken one of my favorite books, The Big Five. A must reader to any person in love with wildlife. 

"The elephant's skull lay in the centre of a grassy glade, in the flat country where the Semliki river flows out into silvery Lake Albert. In an even ring around this great white skull lay a ridge of doum palm nuts. These hard, indigestible seeds had been left there in the droppings of elephant that had stood with their heads over this skull. They had stood in a ring for a long time, and the doum nuts -all that remained of their droppings - showed that many elephant had come and stayed and gone... This visible evidence of mourning one of their kind was just one of the many sights that have made me think ever more deeply about all animals".

Nderito, the same age set of John Fletcher, who took this photo in Kuku plains
In these tragic days of rampant elephant poaching in Africa, we are grateful to all Campi ya Kanzi visitors: their $100 conservation fee per guest per day allows MWCT to employ 101 rangers and protect, as best as we can, these marvelous and intelligent mammals.

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