In Southern Africa, elephants regularly fall victim to poaching or to conflicts about living space with farmers and villagers. Sometimes baby elephants are left orphaned when their mother is killed – elephants drink their mother’s milk until they are three years old. In Zambia, Game Rangers International rescues, rehabilitates, and releases orphaned elephants back into the wild. The youngest elephants are cared for at the elephant nursery in Lilayi, close to Lusaka. There they receive bottles of milk every three hours and are taken into the bush to learn to vend for themselves. Everyday between 11.30 and 13.00 hrs visitors can watch how the babies are fed – a lovely sight, as you can see in this photograph. When they are a little older, the elephants are taken to Kafue National Park to join other older orphaned elephants, to work towards reintegration with elephants in the wild.
Two elephants feeding from a mango tree in black and white on a black background.
Photo taken in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
This morning, according to the news, a herd of eight elephants on the loose near Pretoria are being led back into the game reserve they escaped from. I can’t imagine the sight of a herd of elephants trudging to the suburbs…
We met this bull on a recent visit to Pilanesberg National Park. In the bushes on either side of the road there the herd with several baby elephants was foraging. The aggressive bull would not let any car come close, let alone pass. We didn’t even attempt to get nearer. Elephants are said to be ‘gentle giants’, but to me they are the most scary animals one can encounter on a safari!
Two elephants wrangling in the pink light of the setting sun. Taken from a boat on the Chobe river in Botswana. Such a romantic scene!