Wild Elephant Too Close
Travel Africa for the first time in our old Land Rover we expect to see elephant, but right here?
Standing on the ladder with my head in our roof top tent I hear Margrit say, “Ahh… there is an Elephant right here!“ It must be on the other side of the marshy pond. I could see it when I was finished, “That’s great Hon.”
“No, I mean right here!” she insists. I’m still not too concerned since we are bounded on two sides by the Hippo pond and the rest of the camp is behind us. “I’ll be right there.”
As I emerge from the tent, the look on Margrit’s face is one of rare fear. Just like the people you picture in your mind from the Reader’s Digest, Drama in Real Life, articles.
Whoa, I see him chewing on the tree not 20 meters from our Land Rover wet to his middle. Obviously defying the limits I had placed on our wildlife encounters for this campsite. At least the important Landy doors are open or maybe we can run around it if necessary.
He just keeps on munching rather pleased with himself at our panic. Suddenly the leaves on our side of the tree seem greener. “Watch out here he comes!” Stopping he looks at us, waves those huge ears, and starts throwing dirt on himself with his trunk. It’s not an aggressive movement, more playful.
Finally it’s back to the tree and the next and the next. Moving slowly away from us, my eye catches movement in the campsite next to us. They’re packing up clueless of this mountain through the trees next to them.
Whistling I try to get their attention. Aah… bad move. They are still clueless but our new elephant friend is having a Kanipchen. “Didn’t you know they don’t like loud noises”, Margrit chides. “I guess now I do…” The sound hit him at top stretch for high leaves. Jumping back he aggressively flaps those monster ears and does a dance trying to figure out what’s going on.
Luckily for us he doesn’t put two and two together, calms down and moves on.
We had the companionship of this wonderful animal in our campsite for about 20 minutes. As we look at the videos it is a beautiful site with the new sun in the background lighting up the scenery and casting big shadows. But in the moment it was all about the elephant, the fear and yet the wonder at being so close to God’s creation.
Get out there! Get scared… it’s good for you!
Russ Harris loves all things mechanical and making the world a better place, especially for Margrit.