An eye for an Elephant

I sleepily switched on the TV before going to bed last night.. Was browsing through different channels and programs. Just came across this one in Animal Planet.

An eye for an Elephant:
Cameraman Martyn Colbeck has trailed the elephant relentlessly to capture brilliant pictures. His work has masterfully documented their lives from their social structure to their family life.

Just after the program started, I was fully awake and was watching it till the end.. Enjoyed it very much! It made me cry, laugh and also learn a lot about elephants.

It was really an exceptionally unique program and was excellent! The way Martyn has filmed the life of the giant animals was mind blowing! I was dumbstruck when I came to know that he has spent more than 15 years with a family of elephants at Amboseli in Kenya, gained their trust and moved with them like family and capturing their great moments which also includes a child birth.

My hairs stood on end when I watched the just born baby elephant being caressed by its mother.. I was in the verge of tears when a baby elephant died out of dehydration in the desert. I rejoiced when another baby elephant stood up straight and walked after a tough struggle of 2 days to stand.

I was just flabbergasted seeing 2 giant elephants fighting fierce-fully with their trunks & tusks! Elephants don’t fight that often it seems. Martyn said that was the second serious fight he witnessed in last 15 long years.

I was stunned by the beauty of the scenery in deserts of Namibia: Group of elephants walking in the desert with yellow and reddish sand shades. That was some extraordinary scene being captured by Martyn.

Also, Martyn went to the forests of Congo to flim the life of forest elephants. It was nice to see how those smaller forest elephants greeted each other daily.

It was really strange  & shocking when I saw that even the elephant calf was kidnapped by another elephant family! Politics is there even in animals. I never expected that! I have no idea what made the other elephant family to kidnap the calf but its something really strange. Also, I was really impressed by the way the mother elephants brought other big females of her family to rescue her son. I felt like I was watching some drama. Hard to accept that such things happen within animals as well!

It was really intriguing when I saw elephants smelling the skulls of their kind and touching them again and again. They were kind of mourning about the death of a fellow elephant. They easily identify the skulls of their kind and they get emotional and stay around the skull for quite a long time touching and smelling them. I wish I knew whats going on in their mind.

It was really a great program through which i learnt few things about my favorite animal – elephants. Some interesting facts I learnt about the elephants are:

  • Elephants give birth mostly at night
  • Their pregnancy period is from 22-24 months!
  • They don’t engage in serious fights that often (had they been, then world would have been destroyed I think! ;))
  • They identify the skulls/remains of their kind and they would like to spend time with it for a while – smelling and touching..
  • They greet other members of the family daily (After Martyn gained the family’s confidence, the youngest kid of the family whose birth he filmed, came to him daily and greeted him like any other family member! How nice!! )
  • Also different family greet each other when they see.
  • They snore heavily when they sleep! Imagine the noise for their size!
  • They move in groups always and communicate continuously to keep track of each other.
  • They are really closely associated with their family. They are family-oriented animals!
  • They are emotional: Once, when a mother and her calf went out for a night and came back, the whole family gave them both an emotional welcome!

I love elephants already and I love them more now after watching this programme. Thanks to Martyn for a wonderful compilation like this!

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