Apologies for a long hiatus. The BBC website has a terrific series of African Elephant videos available.

Today I was pleased to find a couple videos are newly accessible from the Planet Earth series – Desert elephants and Diving elephants. They are the last 2 videos from the video list, if you hover and scroll from the far right side of the video navigator.

(A number of the videos are free for all but a limited group are only viewable from England)

To appreciate the complex muscle coordination of a mature elephant, you need to watch it in action. I get mesmerized watching the San Diego Safari Park elephant adults pick up the last bits of hay from the ground. With the two finger-like tips, they sweep the thinly strewn hay into a small pile. Then they coil the end of their trunk around the pile and lift it off the ground. While curling the trunk up towards the mouth, the elephant seems to shift the hay closer towards the trunk tip so that it can more carefully place the hay into the mouth.

Also it is endearing to watch the ways in which the trunk is used to communicate between elephants. Some researchers or keepers describe the placing of the trunk tip into another elephant’s mouth as a greeting or kiss. The calves appear to get comfort from standing under their mother’s chin, with the long trunk sometimes draped over the calf’s side like a curtain. The trunk touch sometimes appears affectionate and other times more like a warning or dominance display.

My apologies for tardiness with the T post. I have been intimidated by the prospect of creating an infographic about elephant tusks. But I also think it is the kind of information that might be most helpful towards future elephant conservation. Also I realized I was not challenging myself with the visual content because the drawings felt repetitive.


I wanted to share an adorable Black Rhino video by the BBC. The rhino actually mews. Wild rhinos can be quite fierce with their charging and sharp horns. However, I’ve been following keepers’ diaries for the Elephant and Rhino Orphanage (David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) and the rhinos’ antics are quite heart-warming and humorous (for ex. feeling proud for chasing off guinea fowl and jumping up and down with gladness).

Get information about fostering an orphan rhino or elephant.

There are many fine educational videos about elephants. I’d like to share a couple videos that highlight how incredibly emotional elephants can be. In some ways they seem even more emotional than us.

Correction: I mistakenly read the videographer’s comment as identifying the young elephant. In fact, the elephant is not identified by name. But it appears to be a bit younger than 2 years old.
The first video shows an orphan elephant at the Nairobi Nursery (David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust). In the video, she adores the attention and physical contact with her human visitors and just cannot get enough (growing more mischievous in the process).

This is the 2nd of a 2-part video about a retired circus elephant, Shirley. At the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, Shirley must say bye to her former zoo keeper of over 20 years. But she has a surprise reunion with an elephant which is quite tender.