Saturday, April 19, 2014

18 April 2014

A Day With the Elephants

This week’s memo will begin by spinning back our saga several months ago when my bride was enthralled/enamored with her rendezvous with Gizmo the giraffe. Oh how that gripping moment catapulted her to the summit of her dream; to be able to see and touch, and be nuzzled by this creature that has been one of her prized animals for years was beyond her expectation. But barely had she come down from that summit than a new one loomed up on the horizon. It was as a speck as it peaked over into view and then, almost as in a twinkling of the eye, it emerged as if it was always there. You wondered to yourself, where did it come from, this new-found quest? Is it real? Will it be a must to be conquered?  Well the answer is, it is as real as Gizmo and there will be no peace until it is brought to its knees – an elephant will be ridden or Africa will not see Angie depart.

So, before her leaps of determination overcame the laws of gravity, we filled up the gas tank and headed for Addo Elephant Park. They do not offer rides on these 5 ton beasts, however the motivation of taking her was to attempt to bring a sense of calmness to her until a rideable queen could be located. However, if such a thought was in anyone’s mind it was only in mine and I soon realized my mistake was not to have gotten several tranquilizer darts for her before we went. I am confident that there have never been so many admiring superlatives used in any one day on these lumbering, flat- footed, five toed pachyderms that somehow survived the dinosaur era.
Fortunately, almost immediately upon entering the park, we encountered the prize; not one, but three or four herds of them. They had just gotten done prettying themselves up for us by visiting their favorite beauty parlor called “Mud Hole Solon.” They passed within 20 feet of the car to show off their glistening bodies all dolled up for the modeling. There were all ages of these gals with their young all like-wise slicked up for the show. Even the very young, that appeared to be only a month or so old, and who could easily walk under their mother’s belly, were paraded in front of us. Noticeably, missing in the affair were the adult males. They were found in solitary seclusion, as if oblivious to the proceedings, gently and, with great agility, navigating their trunk as they gathered in a bite to eat. 
We have included a “few” of the pictures taken as we drove through Addo and admired the local residents.     

Water Buffalo
Wart Hogs - so ugly they're almost cute.

Happy Easter to all of you!!

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