09 May 2011 The prodigal elephant makes a brief return
We’ve had some interesting developments take place at the camp recently. Joe – the herd’s leader who flew the coop in September last year – returned for a brief stay. It all began about three weeks ago, when Joe took to hanging around the stables, the lodge, and even the staff quarters. Needless to say the latter caused more than a few headaches for the grooms, as they were constantly being called to escort the uninvited guest off the premises so the staff could go to work.
In the evenings Joe would try his best to sneak into the stables with the rest of the herd, which was quite amusing given his size. Eventually the prodigal leader tired of being chased away, and one day he just barged in front of the other elephants and headed straight for his old stall. No amount of cajoling could convince him to leave, so we acquiesced and gave him some dinner.
For the better part of a week it was as if Joe had never left. He took part in the daily exercise routines, hung out at the dam with the rest of the herd, and even came on safari with us. We weren’t sure if he was planning to stay or not, so we decided against riding him until he’d decided what he wanted to do.
Although he did return to visit on the odd occasion, we never actually foresaw Joe returning to Camp Jabulani. When he came back we decided that whatever he wanted to do, we’d support him 100%. We were just happy to have our old friend back with us. As it turned out his stay was short-lived, because on Thursday night he didn’t return to the stables with the rest of the elephants.
We still don’t know what prompted Joe’s sojourn, but it sure was nice to have him back for a while.
Until next time,