At first glance, we’re so different from elephants. They’ve got trunks and tusks and such. They can weigh up to eight tons. But those are mere surface details; look a bit deeper and you’ll see some truly remarkable similarities. As a wildlife organization that works with dozens of elephants, we saw a lot of human traits our eles — errrr, a lot of elephant traits in our humans. Below we’ve put together a short list of traits that’ll help you recognize your inner jumbo.
1. They love a good soak.
Who doesn’t like relishing some relaxing time in the tub? Wild elephants spend a lot of time in the water. It’s how they cool off, it’s good for their skin, and it’s probably wicked fun to splash around and spray things with their trunks. The elephants Wildlife SOS cares for always have access to the H2O, and boy do they take advantage. Here’s Peanut enjoying herself in her personal pool.
2. They love an all-you-can-eat special.
Sometimes it seems like elephants can’t get enough food. NO matter how much they’ve had. They can eat up to 600 pounds a day — anything from grass and bark to twigs. At Wildlife SOS, we try to give them slightly tastier options than that. Here we have Bijli, Chanchal, and Laxmi enjoying a massive fruit buffet on Elephant Appreciation Day.
3. They love a pedicure.
We all know what an ingrown toenail feels like. Now imagine you weigh five tons and have to walk on it! Ouch. That’s just one of the reasons our elephants love their pedicures — and medicated foot soaks and so on. Here our gentle giant Gajraj enjoys a little toenail TLC at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center.
4. They love just hanging out with their friends.
We all know how social elephants are, especially the females — every wild elephant documentary, every article, every book goes over that. And yet, it’s probably still understated. Some of our elephants are almost inseparable, and there’s nothing they’d rather be doing than just chilling out together. Here Asha and Suzy share a moment.
5. They love a leisurely stroll.
All elephants are avid hikers. They’ll roam long distances for all kinds of reasons — in search of fresh food or water, looking for mates, getting to better climates during hot spells, and so on. Sometimes elephants go on walks simply because they like it! Check out Asha, Suzy, and Peanut out for a hike.
6. They protect their friends.
Elephants are deeply loyal to their friends. It’s just part of their social fabric. But it’s still deeply touching to see them looking out for each other. Here we see little Peanut laying down for a nap, and big Coco standing over her to make sure she’s protected.
7. They love mischief.
Some of our elephants are incredibly sweet and gentle. And then there’s Peanut. She’s young, full of energy, and ready for anything! To Peanut, the word “fun” includes 1) uprooting trees; 2) running away during her daily walks; and 3) chasing pretty much anything smaller than her around the rescue center, from butterflies and peacocks to antelope and the occasional staff member. But Peanut means well; she’s just (mostly) unaware of her size and power. Imagine a toddler with the power to flip your car over — yikes!
8. The capacity to forgive.
Some of the elephants we know endured years, even decades, of abuse at the hands of cruel people — and we’re always astounded by their gentle nature in spite of it. They may not forget, but they certainly forgive — and can teach a lot of us a valuable lesson in the process. Here we see massive Phoolkali and our co-founder, Kartick Satyanarayan, hanging out.
Do we really need to say anything about this one? The extra-large tub of popcorn at your local theater would need unlimited refills to satisfy an elephant like Raju here.
All Image Source: Wildlife SOS