26 March 2012 by Julienne du Toit

The Italian elephants

Lions can be boring … but there’s no chance of that with elephants: they always do something interesting.

The Big 5 are supposed to be thrilling. But to be completely honest, lions can be a little boring – did you know that a lion can sleep for more than 20 hours a day? You can park for hours at a sleeping pride of lions and the only action you’ll see is the lazy twitch of a tail.

Give me a herd of elephants over a pride of lions any day.

Elephants are always doing something interesting. They know exactly where you are, and they’re often interested in you too.

You learn to read them – a warning flicker of the ears, and you’re too close. It’s usually easy to read their moods and intent.

You learn to read them. A warning flicker of the ears – you’re too close. It’s usually easy to read their moods and intent.

I read a description once about elephants being like an Italian family. They’re emotional.

To be at a meeting of two families is honestly like being in the midst of reunion between long-lost families: liquid pours from the temporal glands; trunks are inserted into mouths; greetings are rumbled; and baby elephants hide shyly between their mothers’ feet.

Even better is to watch elephants play in water: they approach cautiously, but the nearer they get, the faster they move. It’s as if they cannot resist it. And once in, they splash about like children.

Category: Wildlife

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