Elephants are generally happy creatures. I mean, what worries would they have? They have no natural predators (except poachers, but alas this is a private game reserve), they can cause serious damage to lions and other predators, they live long and fulfilling lives.
Sometimes they can even splash about in watering holes!
This elephant is doing a Lynn aka eating. Look at how happy it is.
Male elephants usually hang out by themselves, as I’ve mentioned earlier nothing actually eats them so there is no need for them to hang out in a group. Females, however, usually stay in groups with other females and their calves. Calves are still susceptible to predatory attacks due to their small size.
We were tracking a group of elephants because I wanted to see some babies. After about an hour of tracking, which involved our ranger putting his finger in a pile of elehant shit and my dad having to go pee again but being really afraid because of the lion incident.
When we finally found them…
They were hysterical! No, not because they were excited to see us. They were afraid of something, someone. So this was when our ranger told us that male elephants go absolutely HAM when they’re on heat. And because elephants have their own language and communicate through low frequencies, a really horny male elephant was terrorizing them. “I’m gonna kill your babies and rape your women!” When in heat, male elephants are extremely aggressive and would kill calves and even their mothers if met with resistance.
I have never seen such panic from elephants before. I mean, look at the previous photos, they were all happy and chilling and eating. But not here, they were running and panicking. Till the point that it wasn’t safe for us to follow them anymore.
Amidst all this chaos guess who was being a nosy asshole.
Just our luck though, the next day we met another male elephant that was on heat.
He’s dousing himself with sand because he is really, really smelly. To mark their scent, male elephants on heat continuously pee on the foot. With every step that they take, they literally stamp their mark on their territory. Elephant pee is not pleasant. Gross.
We were observing him from a distance when he noticed our presence.
He is extremely frustrated hormonally and just wanted to have copious amounts of sex. He charges towards our vehicle and now we are the ones panicking. He could easily flip our land rover over. (Now say that 5 times, fast!)
He is coming closer and closer! Luckily, he was no match for the amazing driving skills of our ranger who managed to speed away in reverse and hide in a forested corner before Mr Horny here decides to spread his rage somewhere else.
Next time you see an elephant in heat please run.