“You know… they say an elephant never forgets.
What they don’t tell you is, you never forget an elephant.”
– Bill Murray , ‘Larger Than Life’
I got to play with elephants today thanks to my Mom (very, very happy face mom :) and wow what an experience. We spent the afternoon at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hazyview, Mpumalanga and learnt everything there is to know about ellies.
Did you know they have unique footprints like us; they move surprisingly quietly due to a shock-absorber type tissue on the soles of their feet; and they can communicate via seismic vibrations felt in the ground!?!
I can’t usually handle seeing animals in captivity, it’s just not right and the animals don’t ever seem happy. You can see it in their eyes. It made me feel a bit better though that the ellies here, Casper (27 yrs) and Gitzo (14 yrs), were originally up for auction as part of a culling project, and if they weren’t saved they would’ve ended up in the zoo or circus.
There’s something extremely captivating about an elephant’s eyes, don’t you think? Perhaps it’s because you almost have to peak in to get a good glimpse of them… hidden behind their lavishly long lashes. Or maybe it’s because when you look at them you can almost see their soul; an overwhelming gentleness exudes that makes any act of violence seem unimaginable.
I still saw sadness in those eyes though.
It’s apparent, no animal wants to be trapped even when the surroundings are supposedly desirable.
These words from Lawrence Anthony (The Elephant Whisperer) ring true, “But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.”
Perhaps it’s time to break down some of those ‘walls’ – to see and be seen once and for all.