22 Aug 2011 Elephant antics
Klaserie, who turned four in February, is a real character. We’ve christened her ‘Shortcut Klaserie’, because whenever she joins us on safari she always looks for the quickest route home. This invariably involves veering off the beaten track, unless of course it doesn’t suit her to do so. Which is precisely what happened last week. We noticed some giraffe about two or three hundred metres off the path, and decided to take a detour in order to get a closer look at them. Klaserie had other ideas however, and they didn’t include wasting time looking at some long necked creatures that were clearly much taller that her. The stubborn little madam remained resolutely glued to the spot while the rest of us headed for the giraffe. We’d only gone a short way when Klaserie started howling. We continued on our way though, thinking that she’d eventually quieten down and wait for us. But no, her bellowing just grew progressively louder and more insistent, forcing Setombe to back out of line and return to her mortified youngster. Of course we couldn’t just let her wander off with guests on her back, so we gave up on seeing the giraffe up close and headed back again. Apparently even elephant toddlers are prone to tantrums.
In which a pile of sand gets flattened
We’re in the process of building a stone wall near the elephant stables, which in itself isn’t too much of a chore. Unfortunately adding a herd of elephants to the mix raised the stakes somewhat. Key to any building project are sand and cement, both of which are incredibly attractive to elephants. They can no more ignore a neat pile of sand than Oprah can a doughnut. Much to the utter dismay of the builders, who had obviously never worked in such a trying environment before. The grooms did their best to keep the determined ellies at bay, but their much bigger charges invariably managed to slip past and trash the pile. Blowing and rolling in the sand until there was almost nothing left of it. Avoiding large footprints in the wet cement proved equally challenging. No doubt the builders will think twice before accepting another job from us.
Leader of the pack
Although slow to come to the party, Sebakwe has filled the shoes of herd leader admirably. He’s always been the biggest male in our group, but because of his laid back nature he just wasn’t bothered to fight for a position he could easily have had two years ago. His easy going nature has made him a firm favourite with the grooms. The only quirk this gentle giant has is an aversion to wind. Whenever it gets a little too windy for his liking, Sebakwe gets what we can best describe as ‘squirly’. Essentially he doesn’t enjoy having ‘bad hair’, so the windy days generally see him running around taking his frustrations out on the trees. Fortunately the area isn’t normally that windy, so we’re not exposed to Sebakwe’s quirkiness too often.
Who’s in front
Jabulani is still intent on being in the front of the queue whenever we go on safari, something that Klaserie still hasn’t grasped. Our intrepid shortcut adventurer often ends up ahead of Jabu, purely because she doesn’t see any reason to stick to the path. Not one to put up with cheeky upstarts, our namesake happily jabs the youngster in the rump whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Until next time,