So for those of you who know me, you know that I LOVE elephants! I completely believe that they are my spirit animal and that there is a reason we are so closely connected. While I was living in Africa I visited Kenya and there I went to the Elephant Orphanage. This was one of the best parts of my trip, because I got to connect with elephants and even got knocked over by one! (It just wanted some attentions from me).
So for today’s post I want to share all little bit about my favorite animal. . . The Elephant
Elephants are amazingly smart animals and super sensitive. Their feet are completely made of pads under their bones so that they walk on their tip toes. Because of this you can almost never hear them walking and it’s easy for them to come up behind you without you knowing. Even though their feet have such thick padding on them they are highly sensitive. An elephant can feel water beneath the ground as deep as the length of their trunk. This is how they can survive in the desert; they dig their way to the water they need.
Elephants are community based creatures. Once born they keep in close contact with their mothers until they are in their teens. A young male will then leave his mother and go off by himself for some time and then usually join a male herd. However, elephant herds (also called a memory) are a matriarchal society – meaning they are lead by the eldest woman in the memory.
One of my favorite stories is of an elephant that was in captivity and made a rare friend. The man that had bought this elephant kept him in a barn and at night the elephant would cry because it was lonely and needed to be in a community. (I’ve heard that the crying of an elephant is the saddest sound you’ve ever heard). One night the man didn’t hear the elephant crying and wondered what had changed. So he went to the barn to see if the elephant was okay. It turns out that the elephant had made a friend with a barn mouse that came in through a small hole in the wall. Next to the wall the elephant had made a small pile of hay so that the mouse would also have something to eat. The elephant had made a new friend and was not longer filled with grief.
Elephants have very poor eyesight but have amazing smelling and hearing ability. (What great big ears you have!) Even though elephants are very large animals they are non-violent animals unless provoked. Because of this elephants will go out of their way to protect smaller animals that walk in front of them they might step on. Because their eyesight is so poor they might not see the animal but they can definitely smell or hear it beneath them.
Elephants are also considered empaths. They are sensitive to the animals around them. When a mother loses her child, other female elephants from different memories will come and comfort her by standing by her side and wrapping their trunks around her. Elephants also have the ability to tell where another elephant has died even if they never knew that elephant or if its been many years since their death. They will go far out of their way in order not to walk over the burial place of another elephant. Finally, when a baby elephant was found dead in the wild other elephants not from its’ memory will found it and continued to try and wake him up and save him. On one account a male elephant tried over 12 times to pick the baby elephant up and get him on his feet.
When it comes to children elephants, kids will be kids. Sometimes, the adolescent elephant will throw itself upon the ground as a sign of extreme emotional distress, commonly known as a tantrum. (see bottom left picture above).
Elephants are amazing animals and care deeply for those around them and for those that are smaller than them. They can read the intentions of humans or other animals around them and therefore will choose to challenge you or leave you. Elephants really do always remember!
There is one story of a small boy taunting an elephant at a circus with an apple. Offering the apple to the elephant but as soon as the elephant tried to grab it he pulled it away, again and again. Years later this boy grew up and went to the circus again not knowing that the same elephant was still in the show. When the show started the elephant saw him in the audience, stepped out of line and came over to the man and hit him with his trunk. From there the elephant turned around and went back to its’ position.
Just remember, you never know when you will see that elephant again. . . so treat them kindly!