Meet the Mahoneys

29 February 2012

Ten elephants who waltzed their way into our hearts and will never, ever leave.

One day, two years ago, a huge female elephant crashed through the bush and faced off with us, ears flared wide, head shaking, seven metres away.

A stand-off ensued, with Kristen and I standing side by side talking softly to her until she backed away and disappeared into the bush near Tent 6.

We already knew and loved elephants as a species, but we had no idea at the time that we were about to begin a relationship with this elephant and her family.

Her name, we learned from the staff, was Maasai, so named for her pierced ear lobe. Masaai, everyone said, was very dangerous.

One should never hold it against wild animals when they show aggression, especially elephants. They are intelligent enough to learn, to remember and to express deep emotion.

Maasai was showing us that she knew we were dangerous, because so many humans she had met in her forty odd years of life in the bush had taught her so.

We decided then that we would do everything we could to make Maasai and her family welcome in our camp.

This is the story of the Mahoneys of Chada Katavi...over the next two months, we will introduce you to the whole family, one by one.

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