Sunday, May 26, 2013

Encounter with Elephants

Good from far, far from good
Kabini, 2004 September. A group of cousins with children on a jungle safari. Seeing some deer and boars near the mouth of a river covered with coconut trees, we paused to admire the scenery when a herd of elephants crossed very close to a jeep ahead of us. One of the elephants rushed forward and kicked fallen coconut tree trunk as if trying to score a goal. The boars dispersed in a hurry, getting the signal.

Just as we realised there was a calf in the herd which seemed very restless, the elephant turned
towards the jeep ahead of us, its ears flaring and the trunk straight stiff, trumpeting a warning at us.

The jeep driver slowly reversed and we escaped before the herd turned on us belligerently.

We drove a distance, again scanning the forest for other wild animals when this time we saw a lone male elephant. From fire into frying pan, we realised and escaped before the elephant noticed us or decided to explore the intrusion.

Our cottages faced the Kabini river and on returning from the safari, now a bit more reassured that we were safer, we headed to the river and one of the adults swam with his son also taking a dip.

When we returned a while later, we noticed a board at foot level. "You can swim if you want to, and you may find company" - and images of crocodiles were drawn next to it.

Well, we are living still to tell the tale.

But if we enter their territory, we had better be prepared to play by their rules.
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