A hungry elephant has been filmed casually walking into the reception of a hotel in Zambia to reach its favourite fruit tree. The incredible sight was filmed by Ian Salisbury, 68, a sᴀꜰᴀʀɪ guide at Mfuwe Lodge, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
And while they are more used to roaming the plains of Africa, the family were perfectly at home in the confines of the luxury hotel. One inquisitive member of the herd even appeared to check-in, leaning over reception as if to politely request a room for two. The elephant wanders through the hotel, taking the time to stop and look at a receptionist at the front desk, before continuing on its way. He stretched his sensitive trunk towards the bell at reception displaying an impressive pair of tusks much to the amusement of hotel staff.
The elephant was heading for a ᴡɪʟᴅ Mango (Cordyla africana) tree in the lodge grounds. The lure of the mango tree becomes too great and the elephant continues on it way. Despite an abundance of mango trees in the area, elephants often make the trip through the hotel in the period of October to December in search of one specific tree on the property.
Three generations of a single family of elephants make the yearly trip. In the past they have even been known to help themselves to drinks and snacks left for the guests before enjoying forty winks on the reception floor.
Ian Salisbury, 65, captured the remarkable images as the elephants made their way through his hotel reception towards the ᴡɪʟᴅ mango tree in the courtyard. Mr Salisbury, the general manager and sᴀꜰᴀʀɪ guide at Mfuwe Lodge, Zambia, has witnessed three different generations of the same family return each year.
Ian Salisbury said: “Most ᴡɪʟᴅ animals have an instinctive fear of humans but these elephants have realised that they are safe from any ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛ here at Mfuwe Lodge. Their behaviour reinforces my belief that elephants are intelligent animals that actually learn from their past actions and that they do actually have good memories. They often stop and inspect the reception area and they use their trunks to sniff out any extra treats.”
He added that guests were safe from the elephants which were gentle animals when treated with respect. He said: “The elephants are sensitive to too much noise or fuss but they are usually extremely calm and relaxed. We are always conscious of maintaining the safety of our guests and ensure that they watch the elephants from areas that the elephants cannot reach. It is really important to respect the animals and we make sure not to disturb their natural behaviour by our presence.”