22 February 2012

Like a lot of people, I'm always intrigued by the weirdos you encounter while on safari. I don't mean tourists dressed up all in pink or with three sets of binoculars hanging from their neck, though you certainly may observe such unusual specimens. I'm talking about wildlife sporting irregular appendages and individuals with no sense of symmetry.

The most common incidences are herbivores that have broken off one or more of their horns such as this old, old buffalo and this impala.

But every once in a while, you come across something a bit more odd, a genetic twist that leads to some disfigurement. We came across this elephant cow near the Mara river with a bizarrely twisted tusk. The elephant seems to be fairly healthy and has managed to reproduce. So whatever mutation caused the twist in her tusk may have been passed on to another generation.

Weirdest of all, however, was the fact that she was observed using her trunk to suck on her own teat! Has anyone seen that behavior before?

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