Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Yes! An elephant!

Khao Yai National Park.



YES! We did see an elephant in the wild. One. And, after repeated reminders that it not a given, one was one more than any of us thought we'd see. Khao Yai is a huge park and the elephants there roam free.




There are no elephants for people to "pet". There are no elephants for people to ride. The park rangers do put salt blocks and some hay out by the road in hopes of occasionally attracting them into view but, for the most part, they are off on their own in the tall grass and forest deep.




We just got lucky. One of the guys in our group, Paul from Wyoming (the guy in the blue shirt), spotted him from the back of the truck as we were driving. Then we all started shouting at once. I pounded on the roof of the cab. Our guide immediately stopped, threw the truck in reverse, backed up, pulled off the road and parked.




Everyone, including the guide, jumped out, cameras in hand, and ran up the path after him. Of course rule number one is don't harass the wildlife and we were good. In spite of our excitement, we did keep our distance.




It was a lone male returning from the road after enjoying the salt block, ambling slowly along the path through the tall grass heading back to the forest.




We all managed to get a few photos before he strolled up over the hill and out of sight.






Our guide explained that because elephants in the wild can graze all day in the delicious tall grass they are, in general, much fatter than elephants in captivity. This fellow certainly proved his point.

3 comments:

Roy said...

Awesome. I mean, the fact that you saw one, and the elephant himself.

Kristiana said...

Yes, awesome... but it begs the same question as the manatee: how do they get so effings fat eating grass all day?

The internet here is achingly slow. It seems to pulse on and off, crest and trough. But I could get used to the aloneness. I've only been here two days and I can feel myself getting off-the-grid weird. Twitchy weird.

asha said...

It was awesome, even though we saw only one guy and not for that long but to be where elephants roam free? Wonderful. Amazing. Awesome. It sounds really corny but it has always been a dream of mine to see elephant(s) in the wild and what a treat that he was so fat and (I say) happy.

And I also marvel at how one of the world's largest, strongest beings is a grass twirling vegetarian.

Kristiana, try rebooting the router. If that doesn't help, sorry. But I'm sure, if you have to, you'll turn being twitchy, off-the-grid weird into an adventure and, hopefully, an intriguing literary blog post.