Elephants are fascinating and intelligent animals. We saw many on our safari: in herds, small groups, and alone. They are social animals and usually travel in matriarchal herds, consisting of several females and their offspring of varying ages.
Male elephants leave the herd when they are adolescents. They are sometimes alone, like this young bull, or in groups with other young males.
At maturity, they will find a herd to join. Size matters! The largest male is more likely to be accepted into the herd.
Elephants enjoy a good mud wallow!
We see a herd crossing the Tarangire River.
Some stop to drink and spray themselves with water before crossing.Oops! A calf seems to have trouble making it up the opposite bank!
Mom pushes him up the muddy slope.
Maybe he isn’t having trouble – maybe he enjoys lying in the mud next to the river! Meanwhile, he’s causing a traffic jam! Mom’s onto the scheme and tells him to get up!
He still doesn’t get up! Mom pushes harder…
Finally, “Look, Mom – see? I can get up all by myself!” he seems to be saying with satisfaction!
On the other side of the river, we hear a loud trumpeting sound. A male elephant missing half a tusk has charged one of the other young bulls!
The two tussle.
The aggressor seems to be in pain! He is finally driven off and he goes off into the forest making loud grunting sounds.
Later, a more peaceful scene: a young calf suckles from its mother.
The young do not grow tusks until after their first year.
All is well in this calf’s life!
I hope you have enjoyed this “slice of life” of these (mostly) gentle giants of Tarangire!