Saturday, 10 May 2014

A day in the life of an elephant

The sun rises early in the Kalahari desert. Every morning as soon as it gets light we check out for each other in the herd. We pretty much know each other even in the dark but we just check anyway. This will be another long day so we better get moving. Life is not easy in the desert. Okay, it is not really a desert as there is plenty of food around but the problem is the water, that is why the humans called it a desert. You have to dig for water and we need plenty of water every day. It help us to digest our food. You know our food doesn't come with any sauce, especially in the dry season when grass and leaves are dry and dusty. We have to walk very long distances in the heat of day to find water. We are very dependant on humans for water, especially in the dry season. They have this very big machines that makes a lot of noise and that has a very large trunk it sticks into the ground. It goes down deep into the belly of the earth until it reaches the water. We cannot do that, our trunks are too short. When the machine takes the trunk back from the belly of the earth the water comes out. We can smell water from great distances especially when there is little around and when we are thirsty. When the water  comes out the humans collect it in a big plastic bag. Then they put a wire around it and more branches to hide it away but we can still smell it. But when we are thirsty we must get water, especially for our babies in the herd. We will do anything to get to water. But first we have to get everything out of the way so that the rest of the herd can see the water. 

It happened the other day at a place where the small people live. They talk a funny language not like the other humans and sometimes they wear skins. Our parents told us many stories about these people how they lived in the bush and shared the food from the veld with us. They ate many of the plants we ate and they keep their water in the egg of an ostrich. But they don't do that anymore. They were very angry when they saw the water was not in the container anymore. We were so happy but they could not understand why we were so happy. They talked very fast, was running around and they made a big noise with their sticks. They even throw stones at us. Our parents told us  the small people never chased us those years. But now it is different. We don't live in peace anymore with them. They can have their water in the plastic bag but they can also allow us some of the water in a ditch so that we can stand in it, and drink it. Then we can have peace with the small people again.

Elephants at //ari!nagho village borehole Botswana
Photo Credit: l
Damaged borehole
Photo Credit: l
Borehole at Labala, BotswanaPhoto Credit: