Tuesday, December 1, 2015

South Africa ~ Tuesday~Elephant Whispers

 

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Well,,,,, unless we ever get to swim with the QI infamous Blue Whale, this will be the biggest animal/creature,  we will ever get to touch and pet, in our lives.

Please meet the 6 ton  TEMBO and he is the hero Elephant of Elephant Whispers , near our resort at  Hazyview.

TEMBO

Elephant Whispers’ magnificent six ton gentle giant.

Elephant Whispers recently celebrated Tembo’s 29th birthday in true elephant fashion. Party goods included bags of oranges, paw-paws, apples and a large pile of freshly cut Bhana Grass to sustain his superb six ton physique!

When Tembo was two years old, he was orphaned when his herd was culled. Together with another orphaned elephant, Becky, he was raised by humans. Tembo’s home until he was approximately 18 years of age was in a reserve which bordered crop farms which Tembo regularly raided, causing thousands of rand’s damage. Authorities, faced with a deluge of complaints by local farmers, decided Tembo would have to be destroyed. Fortunately, Rory and Lindie Hensman rescued Tembo, taking him to EFAF, where Tembo enthusiastically embraced his new routines and also interacting with other tamed and trained elephant

http://www.seasonsinafrica.com/adventure-activities-in-south-africa/lowveld-activities/elephant-whispers/

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And this is… I actually, shame on me… I can’t remember his name!… I think It’s Shamwari.

They feed them (for tourists) something that looks just like ‘sheep nuts’ (pelletised feed) and it probably is very similar!

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But whoever this beautiful boy is.. he would lay down and let us touch him.

From the tip of his trunk, to the end of his tail!

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They told us he liked it, a bit like a massage or petting a dog! He certainly liked the food they kept popping in his mouth…

Below: yes does have  a big ear for hearing…

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He felt course and hairy, a  bit like a big bristly pig, or bit of Christmas pork.

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And his tail was like a thick wire broom.

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AND, then we were introduced to Tembo – yes there was a handler on top of him at all times!

and thank you to the photo Gods for the red flowering tree – 

which made great photos and matched my hat.!.

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They train the elephants to respond to all handlers so they don’t get attached to just one person. They chose me to ask him to salute and he did.

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Above – and here he is showing us his teeth, which was part of the tour, to understand the anatomy of elephants.

And then after lunch at Perry's Bridge (sushi for me, burger for Graham), we spent some time at the reptile park which was only around the corner from Sabi Sands Resort.

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Night Safari tomorrow!

 

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