Tag Archives: elephants

Your inner animal

If you were an animal what would you be?  Do you have an inner animal?  We all love our cats and dogs and yes even our cockatiels and can identify with their needs.  They can communicate with us in different ways such as how they tell us they need a “treat” (my cat seems to constantly need these) and how they welcome us home (not the cat – that is just not cat-like behaviour – I am talking of course about the cockatiel who has not picked up any bad habits from his feline sister).
 

However, strange things happen when you get out into nature especially when it is in an exotic location where the animals are so totally different to our domestic pets and indeed our local wildlife.  However different, wild and exotic theses animals may be there is indeed something about them that we can identify with.

Ever seen an elephant getting rid of his itch on a lumpy tree trunk?  Oh my goodness.  You can just identify with the scrumptious feeling of scratching that hard to reach itchy spot.

And what about those days when you just don’t want to talk to anyone and the people who do talk to you are idiots so you just ignore them

You see this is something that adventure travel can bring to your life. The ability to get up close and personal to the most fascinating creatures only to realise that you are looking at yourself!  Darwin’s theories are irresistible – even more so if you get the chance to visit the Galapagos Islands.  What is so unique about this place is that the animals are so totally unafraid of humans.  Wow – that is incredible to me when I compare it to the behaviour of the animals in Africa for example.  No wonder elephants, lions, and antelope are so skittish when humans are around.  They just don’t trust us any more.

So in the Galapagos you don’t need a zoom lens to get up close and yes the animals there are even more natural so it is even easier to identify “yourself”. How about these albatrosses stumbling across the rocks.  Sort of reminds me of myself after a long day of wearing heels – or maybe some of those super models with the impossibly high platforms shoes……. followed up by the adorable seal blowing kisses under water.

And if you are shy you can totally identify with this octopus who seems to duck his head and then blush.  Kinda like when that gorgeous lad in Grade 7 asked if he could borrow your calculator.

The world is out there in all it’s glory full of interesting sights and sounds.  Go see the animals and find yourself in the process!

All creatures great and small….

When you contemplate a trip to Africa – especially East Africa – you think about the Big Five – the Lion, the Leopard, the Elephant, the Rhino and the Buffalo and of course I was thrilled to spot these on my recent trip to Tanzania – all except the elusive leopard.

Our guide however opened up a whole new world of “game spotting” to us in the most unexpected way.  We spent a fascinating twenty minutes watching a dung beetle rolling and pushing its dung ball round and round.  Periodically he would climb on top of the ball just to check out the terrain.  Who is the dung beetle’s enemy?  Well birds for one as well as bats, reptiles and other insect eaters who would just love a juicy dung beetle – a bit like us during lobster season on the East Coast.

Such patience … watch …

And what about the safari ants?  We have all had ants in the house and what a nuisance they can be.  We stopped and watched columns of ants – thousands and thousands of them – marching across the road.  You have heard the story about elephants being afraid of mice – well it is actually these safari ants they are really afraid of.  They can climb up an elephant’s trunk and hang on with their pincers and there is nothing the poor elephant can do to shake it out.  Our guide had seen elephants bashing their trunks up against tree trunks in an attempt to get rid of this pesky intruder.  They are so scared of ants that they can smell them and avoid them like the plague and as always in Africa there is a way to make nature work for everyone.  Local villagers who farm water melons have a terrible time with the ellies who just love the sweet taste of watermelon and when you bear in mind that elephants consume between 400 and 600 pounds of vegetation a day.  That’s a lot of watermelons.  The villagers know the elephants hate the ants so a few bags of sugar sprinkled around the field attract the ants and voila!  You have an instance elephant proof security fence!

The best small thing about Tanzania – the children!  Our visit to a local kindergarten was heart warming and entertaining.