18/04/2024

Delicate Elephant Tiptoes Over Fence Instead Of ᴛʀᴀᴍᴘʟɪɴɢ It

Elephants aren’t necessarily known for being the most nimble of creatures. But one elephant showed the utmost grace when she carefully climbed over a farmer’s fence in South Africa, one leg at a time. Luckily for us, a safari group was there to capture her feat.

The four ton beast has chosen to roam across Africa by daintily skipping over fences instead of ᴛʀᴀᴍᴘʟɪɴɢ everything in its wake. And those scenes show the elephant walking very cautiously, and despite its large body, it still moves very quickly and makes ᴀᴄʀᴏʙᴀᴛɪᴄ movements, and lifts one of its heavy front paws over fence, then lift one hind foot behind to get over the fence without facing any sʜᴏᴄᴋ. After one final push it is free and ready to hunt for food.

The photos show that Nellie clearly has respect for her surroundings and doesn’t want to be blamed for any ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇ. Elephants are known for their intelligence and ability to solve problems – Nellie’s antics confirm how true that is. The images were posted on Facebook by Indri Ultimate Wildlife Tours, of Cape Town, South Africa, which said: “Our feeling when looking at these photographs is one of utter respect.”

They will come as no surprise to scientists who have studied elephants ʙʀᴀɪɴs, particularly when confronted with ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ. Their ability to remember means elephants can dodge not just fences but droughts too. The theory is that older females memorise earlier severe droughts and how the elephants at the time survived it. This means they know where to find distant food and water sources giving them a better chance of sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ as climate change becomes a real ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛ to their natural habitats.

But Nellie isn’t the only elephant dodging obstacles across Africa. A second elephant was also caught on film skillfully having to avoid a electric fence in Mpumalanga, near the Kruger National Park. This time the cheeky little elephant steps over the fence to grab a branch from a much-loved marula fruit tree in the back garden of a house. The elephant is clearly keen to avoid past experiences such as being ᴛᴀɴɢʟᴇᴅ up or ᴇʟᴇᴄᴛʀᴏᴄᴜᴛᴇᴅ by a nasty fence. After having his snack the young male then lifts both legs back over the fence carefully – despite no current being passed through the electric fence.

Magdel van den Berg, the journalist who filmed the baby elephant, said: “It was quite strange to see the elephant do this but it is marula fruit season and elephants love them. He remembered the fence for sure, he is a regular visitor to the area. It was interesting to see an animal think and plan its way around the obstacles, the owner of the property has reported him going as far as their front door, up hills and over more fences. Quite a busy little boy he is.”

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