From the outside patio, we could see the resident elephants (save one), grazing on the veld. Then the concierge, Phumeza, pointed to a six foot sliding window over the couch, “And here, you can watch the elephants sleeping.” I walked over to the window and saw below me the sleeping area for the elephants. All night long I would be able to perch on the back of the couch and watch Sally, the matriarch, and eight other elephants eating, trumpeting, and sleeping. When I started crying both Phumeza and Scott began to look uncomfortable. I could barely speak. “You see, it’s my birthday and elephants are my favorite earthly beings,” I sputtered.
Phumeza smiled appreciatively at Scott and made her exit.
A while later….
I heard Scott call, “Tris you’ve got to come see this.”
Sally grasped nibble after nibble with the “fingers” at the end of her trunk from my palm, gobbling them up like Pac-man clearing a maze. Ninety minutes later, we were able to walk the elephants back to their stable.
Scott and Tris
June 13, 2013 - Update: I am devastated to report that Fiela passed away ten days ago. She became suddenly ill and died the next morning. Elephants are so fragile...