Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Speaking of Elephants

I know, I know, but they're not giving me enough to do here.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has a two-part mission:

To provide a haven for old, sick or needy elephants in a setting of green pastures, old-growth forests, spring-fed ponds and a heated barn for cold winter nights.

To provide education about the crisis facing these social, sensitive, passionately intense, playful, complex, exceedingly intelligent and endangered creatures.


The Sanctuary is not open to the public, but they do provide a webcam where, with luck, you can get a look at one of the residents. You could also donate to the Sanctuary, if you were so inclined.

Also, this site collects many of photographer Gregory Colbert's portraits of animals and humans interacting in unexpected and moving ways. He has a lot of elephant photographs, one of which I've printed up for a bit of inspiration as I work (slowly, slowly) on developing my elephant story.

2 Comments:

Blogger Elad said...

Elephants are fascinating. If there were a culture of Giants, do you think they'd have elephants for pets?

11:39 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

I'll let you write that story, Elad :-)

They really are fascinating. F'r instance, elephants don't worry much about dead or injured animals of other species--except for humans. Elephants have been known to guard humans who have either been killed or incapacitated for days, long after their own family group has moved on. They will cover over dead humans with branches and dirt just as they would a dead elephant. (The Maasai, in return, fill the skulls of elephants with grasses just as they do with the skulls of their tribe members.) They seem to have an awareness of their own mortality; the myths of the elephant graveyards are just that, but elephants who come upon the bones of their own will spend time examining them with their trunks, as if remembering the dead. Even if the bones are long gone, they will sometimes pause at the site where a relative died. And they use tools, and they have senses of humor, and they have long memories, and I could go on and on but I won't.

11:59 AM  

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