Curious Khumbula Elephant

Posted by Heike on Fri September 18, 2015 in Research.

By Reece Thornley, Operation Wallacea Dissertation Student at Pongola Game Reserve (June to August 2015)

There are many things about Africa that I will never forget, for as long as I live. Many things beautiful, mesmerizing and a few absolutely bewildering!
However, of all the things in Africa, there is one individual in particular that stands out in my mind. This individual makes me long for the windswept floodplains and dense thicket of Pongola more than any other thing in Africa.
He is staggeringly beautiful, and gargantuan in size. His thick grey skin tinged with copper orange soil and wrinkles that crossed his entire body like deep fjords. His eyes are something I will remember always, sparkling and wise, like a great amber sapphires. A tell-tale sign was his wonky left tusk that protruded inwards towards his long serpent like trunk. There has never been a more aptly named creature to grace this earth…Khumbula, Zulu for ‘Remember’. If elephants had second names, his would definitely be Ungakhohlwa…‘Never forget’.