Huge..that’s all I could think of as he came towards our jeep. He’s HUGE!
I was standing on the seat of our vehicle, the top half of my body sticking out of the roof, and his head still seemed a mile above mine.
Our visitor was the strong silent type. He didn’t trumpet or even rumble, he just moved slowly towards us, the dry grass crackling under his step. He held his ears out straight from his head in a show of dominance and then stopped to raise his trunk to catch our scent or look ominous, I’m not sure which.
Afterward he laid his trunk over one tusk, as if he was a butler with a coat draped over his arm, and headed for us again.
He was the George Clooney of elephants: tall, handsome—an elephant of a certain age for sure—no tacky charging for this fellow. No, he knew who was boss and it wasn’t us. We were tiny humans in a metal can, we were no match for his fabulousness.
We first spotted George an hour before, appearing first at the far end of the Silale swamp in Tanzania, making his way towards a small herd of lady elephants grazing in the marshy waters near our jeep.
He could’ve walked in a straight line towards his targets and avoided us completely, but he altered his path instead and suddenly, we were between James and his prize.
What a cocky fellow.
He stopped twenty feet from the vehicle and once again raised his trunk in the air. There were literally miles on either side of us for the bull to stroll past but he didn’t want to go around, he wanted us to move.
He stepped forward and stopped again and stood silent, his head imperceptibly tilting right then left. My guide calmly threw the jeep in reverse and watched as we retreated and came to a halt 30 feet away.
He shook his big head in victory and whipped out his trunk as if he were trying to catch a fly in mid-air.
He hesitated for a second longer and then, with the posture of a conquering hero, sauntered directly over the dirt we’d previously occupied and went on his way.
He’d made his point, it was time to move on….his ladies were waiting…