Elephant
The African elephant is the second of my "Big Five" animal postings. I have read how destructive elephants can be to the environment, and I got to witness it first hand. They literally ripped the branches from trees and then only ate parts of them. Some they would drop onto the ground, stand on one end, and then strip some of the leaves from them, but never all of the leaves. Other branches they would roll around in their mouths and remove the bark, which is what this elephant is doing.

Image 13 of 19
Comments 2
Views 764
Media ID 20120821043853456 
Sun Aug 12, '12 11:24PM
Uploaded By: Roger Maki  

 

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Media ID 20120821043853456  
Date Sun Aug 12, '12 11:24PM
Comments 2
Views 764
Uploaded By Roger Maki
Aperture Value f//10
Date/Time Sun Aug 12, '12 11:24PM
EXIF Image Height 683 pixels
EXIF Image Width 1024 pixels
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash No Flash
Focal Length 43 mm
ISO 100
Make Sigma
Metering Mode Pattern
Model SIGMA SD14
Sensing Method One Chip Color Area Sensor
Shutter Speed Value 1/160 sec
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Very interesting, Roger! This is a great shot of the elephant in action (I'm guessing an adolescent? Hard to tell his scale). I imagine this bull treating that long, still-living branch like a large pair of hedge trimmers would treat a stalk of celery!

Not sure I agree that this elephant is laying waste to the environment per se, since after all both the tree and the elephant are elements of pure nature (meaning no man-made tools or influences, or any kind of tools at all, are at play). Perhaps elephants, like raging wildfires in dense old-growth forests, are just agents of nature doing the bidding of a grand design??

Or possibly, maybe, that's just my worthless college philosophy minor chiming in ;-) Thanks for posting this photo!

Maybe you're right about the elephants' environmental impact.  After all, the termites need something to eat, too!  After one of our fellow guests commented to our guide about the way he drove into the bush, mowing down small trees and shrubs along the way, he said that elephants do far more damage than his truck.  He also said that the live shrubs that he drives over pop back up again.