Elephant vs. Tree: Trunk to Trunk

Happy World Elephant Day!

expat life Pretoria Africa travel world elephant day
http://travelingmarla.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4790&action=edit&message=10 Kurt was a cool customer when we came across this bull elephant in Pilanesberg, South Africa…

Did you know there was a World Elephant Day? I only recently learned about this day, marked to “bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants.”

In honor of the day, I wanted to share some photos taken during a recent trip to Pilanesberg of a bull elephant taking down a tree. It was really something to watch.

expat life Pretoria Africa travel world elephant day
Bull elephant in the Pilanesberg reserve as seen from the Ivory Tree Lodge
expat life Pretoria Africa travel world elephant day
We watched this fella for quite awhile as he worked at pushing over this tree.
expat life Pretoria Africa travel world elephant day
expat life Pretoria Africa travel world elephant day
…almost there!
expat life Pretoria Africa travel world elephant day
Working it trunk on trunk. Just. a. little. more…
expat life Pretoria Africa travel world elephant day
Victory! Now get over here and let me eat that delicious bark. Om nom nom nom…

We’ve been fortunate to see several elephants since we arrived in South Africa two months ago: in the wild, and in sanctuary. They really do need more habitat. It’s heartbreaking to see them confined to small spaces and separated from their family group.

We are heading to Kruger National Park soon and hoping to see more. It never gets old. They never cease to be breathtaking animals, and you can tell how intelligent they are when they look in your eyes. I’m pretty sure not everybody sees that when looking at me, so I would like to put in my request now to come back as an elephant. Please save me a little habitat, okay? 😉

I know that I often post links to make a donation, but I think today we’ll just focus on awareness.

So…just share.

Share the World Elephant Day page, or tweet a photo of an elephant (include #worldelephantday or just #elephants), or share some of your own reflections about elephants, or anything that will make others aware of World Elephant Day as well.

Love, Marla

expat life Pretoria Africa travel world elephant day
I am not so cool and collected when knowing there is a bull elephant grazing just over my shoulder. Thankfully my panic instinct is apparently to freeze, so while in vehicle, this should keep me from getting charged by an elephant or eaten by a lion.

P.S. I’m going to leave you with a lovely poem I found on the internet today, courtesy of a page called The Biology Corner.

The Elephant Poem by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake.”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“Tis Clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree.”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope.”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long.
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong.

7 thoughts on “Elephant vs. Tree: Trunk to Trunk

  1. Brilliant post…. and superb photos… now I know the secret of your expression… sharing this definitely… 🙂 🙂

  2. 🙂 I have known this poem since the old days but upon reading it again, it reminds me of politics today. Happy ELEPHANT Day from L.A. Say,did you happen to live in Mariners Village when you were here in Marina Del Rey?

    1. Hi Ginny, that’s a good point about politics.
      No, we lived in Archstone. It’s on via Marina, near where Admiralty and via Marina meet up. (Across from the Cheesecake Factory, where we ate wayyyyy too much 🙂 ).

      1. OK, have gone by there several times. Haven’t done C F but did Counters and a sandwich/salad place near California Pizza Kitchen. Phil has recently moved into Mariners Village, closer to the inlet. Will be a good place to raise Ernest if they stay here; there are lots of young families. It looks like a resort; bet the rent is outrageous.

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