Clumsy elephant baby shows determination to stay close to mother during river crossing.
The African bush is an unforgiving and hostile place, hosting a unique collection of fauna and flora that has the ability to survive and even thrive under the harsh conditions. Wildlife found in the Kruger National Park must face a daily struggle to find food and water, be on the watch out for constant looming danger and move across difficult and dangerous terrain to get to the next meal. The life of a baby elephant is no different. Elephants are nomadic, travelling great distances in herds to find food and water. Baby elephants have to keep up with the pace of the rest of the herd and they have to face daily struggles while growing up, learning all the necessary life skills needed to survive in the African bush. While on safari in the Kruger National Park, we came across a herd of elephants, busy crossing a river. The majority of the herd consisted of adult elephants and among them there was one baby elephant. The adult elephants were crossing the river with real ease and it didn’t seem like a difficult crossing at all. The baby elephant’s mother was right in front of it and she entered the river. The baby elephant had no choice but to follow and stay close with its mother. Right from the very first step we realized that this clumsy baby elephant was not going to have it easy. After the first step, the baby elephant fell forward, face first into the water. While the mother elephant was walking through with real ease, her baby right behind her was taking nose dive after nose dive while struggling to stay on its feet due to the uneven and muddy bottom of the river. The baby elephant knew it had to keep up with its mother and showed real determination through the whole crossing. We felt sorry for the baby elephant falling face first into the water every few meters but we were also impressed by its determination to keep up. It all looked very tiring for the baby elephant but to our surprise, the little elephant was actually still full of energy after reaching the other side. The baby elephant turned from being clumsy to being cheeky when it became aware of a dark blue bird sitting on the bank of the river. The cheeky baby elephant decided to show the bird who’s the boss. The baby elephant stalked the bird for a little and then exploded forward. The baby elephant did everything to be as intimidating as possible. This was so hilarious to watch and we found this behavior very entertaining and funny at the same time. With ears flapping, the baby elephant chased the bird up the river bank, while letting out an attempted trumpet sound which turned out to be more like a little squeaking sound. The bird flew off in a rush and the young elephant clearly felt on top of the world with its efforts. The elephant herd continued with their journey and slowly disappeared into the bush. We were totally amused by the whole sighting and it was by far the biggest highlight of the safari.