“…he walks like this
and he walks like that ..”
“He has no fingers … he has no toes
but goodness gracious .. what a nose!!”
The Elephant Sanctuary at The Craggs, Plettenberg Bay is an amazing place! There are several reserves in this region where the elephant is protected – hubby and I only had time to visit one. It was our opportunity and privilage to get up, close and personal to these beautiful creatures …
There are six young elephants in the sanctuary, all under the age of 20 years. They were all rescued from unfavourable situations and given a home here. Two of them had had their trunks caught in snares, hence the tips have been cut off – shame poor things 😦
Walking hand in trunk is an amazing experience! Holding out our right hand towards the back, the elephant rests the tip of his nose in the palm and curls the fingers around the end. With lots of huffing and puffing through his nose, your hand gets rather wet and splattered with mud .. but who cares !!! .. this was really special !!
The handlers were very good … telling us where to stand, when and how – they are wild animals after all !!!! Each handler has a wonderful rapport with the elephants, handing out nibblies/treats when they respond to their commands, like lifting up a foot for us to touch the toes and soles of those huge round feet. I didn’t realise that they walk on tippy toes .. the sole is just a huge cushion enabling them to tread quietly through the bush.
This youngster was told to shake … shake … shake her head … love the flippy floppy ears and wavering trunk …
.. “phew .. done and dusted !! (’til the next group !!!) ”
Say aaaaarrrrhhh !!
Our guide for our elephant experience was informative and knowledgeable. Here he is explaining the elephants’ sleeping arrangements in the only just adequate ‘house’ – there is an enormous ‘house’ with huge solid doors almost complete for the elephants to move into. I took a photo of the enormous ‘house’ and doors but I needed an elephant to pose for me in the doorway to get perspective !!!!!!
There are a couple of similar sanctuaries for these magnificent creatures one is near Hartebeespoort Dam in Gauteng – so close to us … but we’ve never been .. now I think we should ! To walk hand in trunk again … and look into those big gentle eyes .. again !
There is a well stocked gift shop where all the proceeds go to elephant welfare …