15.06.2009 - 15.06.2009
I have a new favourite animal.
This lovely big chap:
With apologies for the photo's poor quality, my battery was virtually dead and all i had time for was one swift point, click and pray. But it does show the elephant – I've been calling him Tusky – drinking from the tap
On our final night, we camped on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact (and not submerged) Caldera in the world. It was promising from the moment we arrived: glimpses of great views into the Crater, and several zebra grazing on the campsite.
Just as it was getting dark and whilst we were sitting around chatting before dinner, without any great warning, Tusky wandered into the camp and happily munched on some nearby leaves for a while, oblivious to the humans watching him. He then ambled off and we kind of forgot about him. But then, during dinner, he suddenly reappeared and walked straight over to a outside water-tap, barely 3metres from where we were sitting, and with no fuss or problem whatsoever – he had obviously done this before – he turned on the tap with his trunk and began drinking.
Watching an elephant drink is a great experience in itself. But one who is drinking after turning the tap on as well? even better. He continued for a good half an hour – he was obviously a thirsty elephant – and incredibly, on two occasions he even turned the tap off for a few minutes whilst he drank and munched a few branches, before turning it back on and continuing to drink. And then, just like that, he finished and wandered off again, never to be seen again.
Yup, In a world where most humans don't even do it, I had been watching an elephant consciously engaged in water conservation. I'm not sure it gets much better than that!