Taken towards the end of the day, this photo of a lagoon in the South Luangwa National Park is the very essence of the life elephants should lead. During the wet season, the lagoon is full of water, fish, and birds are abundant, herbivores like puku and impala are plentiful, and the elephants enjoy the luxury of spraying themselves with water.
As the seasons progress, the lagoon slowly shrinks, and the luscious green growth becomes many shades of brown and gold. The seasons are each beautiful in their own way. Everything is as it should be. Mother elephants are free to begin the night’s foraging while their little ones tag along mimicking their behavior.
There is a sense of peace and tranquility here. Yet each day I am bombarded with messages from Africa that tell me the serenity these elephants enjoy is fragile. Poachers who receive little payment for elephant tusks they deliver can kill this elephant and orphan her baby while they help make middle men rich and give consumers more trinkets.
I’ve come to love this time of day in Zambia and treasure this sight. Everything here is as it should be. Please help us keep these elephants safe from harm so more generations have a chance to get to know these sentient, caring, self-aware creatures.
Written By: Pat Cole