Sunday, March 4, 2018

A gathering of elephants

I have to say seeing elephants in Kaudalla National Park has been the highlight of this trip so far.  From summer into early winter elephants gather in Minneriya National Park during the dry season drinking from a man made tank.  As the water disappears in the tank area fresh green grass appears which the animals feast on.   They then migrate to the waters and fresh grass of Kaudalla National Park which is where I saw them.  Here they gorge themselves on fresh grass, make babies and have babies. This occurs for about two weeks every winter but it's never the same time every year of course - the elephants don't share that with us.! Our guide Sam asked us if we wanted to go and of course we said "no, a bunch of elephants why would we want to see that?"  Ha ha.  As if - we all shrieked "YES"!!! 

So that's how we found ourselves at the elephant gathering late that afternoon.  Yes there were a lot of jeeps and I found myself groaning when I first saw them and while of course it would have been better to be the only ones this is a huge occurrence in the area and attracts people from far and wide.  We were very lucky to even get two jeeps at such short notice!  The elephants didn't bother about the jeeps except when one got a bit too close and one elephant trumpeted.  And all the jeeps backed up....Our jeep got a bit too close to two male elephants who were having a bit of a "discussion" and all it took was a sideways glance from one of them and we were reversing backwards pretty darn fast.  The males' tusks have been removed or shortened to prevent them from being killed by ivory poachers.

So here they are...the elephants!!!

All set to go...this couple were so sweet but sadly had to leave us in Kandy as he became quite ill. 

I was told this baby elephant was only 3 days old.

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