How the Elephant Got its Trunk

by Rebecca on November 4, 2010

in Animal Pictures,Animal Stories

Photo by amateur photographer Johan Opperman in the Kruger National Park in South Africa.It looks like the perfect illustration for the tale of how the elephant got its trunk. Sadly for this youngster, however, this was no scene from Kipling’s Just So Stories but all-too-painful reality. Under the watchful eye of its family, the baby elephant had gone to the edge of an African waterhole for a drink.

Unfortunately, the leafy pond was perfect camouflage for a hungry crocodile, which clamped its teeth on to the end of its surprised victim’s trunk and began a tug-of-war.

Or, as Kipling writes in The Elephant’s Child: ‘And the Elephant’s Child spread all his little four legs and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and his nose kept on stretching; and the Crocodile threshed his tail like an oar, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and at each pull the Elephant’s Child’s nose grew longer and longer – and it hurt him…’

Hearing the baby’s calls of distress, the herd of elephants immediately went to its rescue, scaring off the crocodile by trumpeting and stamping the ground. After the attack the herd stayed with the youngster.

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