The Elephants of Tarangire National Park
There are approximately 4,000-5,000 elephants living in the Tarangire National park, Tanzania, Africa. They are protected by the boundaries of the park, however there are still incidents of poaching. The poachers carve a hole in the Baboab tree, hiding weapons and themselves in order to kill an elephant.
The herds roam freely grazing on the grass and trees, as they raise there young.
During this safari we observed a very touching and sad site. A mother elephant with the body of her dead child at her feet was grieving. You can’t help but feel for this site, knowing that there is nothing that you can do. She will stand there for many days moving her large ears, touching her feet to the child and swaying. This will go on until the body begins to decay, and the other elephants will bring grass to cover the child. The remainder of the herd stayed with her at a distance in respect. Wildlife researchers and photographers report that elephants have very specific grieving rituals and yes, they do shed tears. There was no way to know how this elephant died with no predators. The possibility is either drought or a snake bite.
The elephants are a complex matriarchal society, highly intelligent and capable of emotions as joy, playfulness, curiosity and sadness. We observed these behaviors in the wild renewing respect for these amazing animals that carry wisdom that is over 35,000,000 years old.