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Misty Paddle on Donner Lake

February 3, 2017

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I'm the Boss, Back Off!

We race through the dank African bush. Brush and trees whip the sides of the Land Rover. We’re seated on one of the truck’s bench seats. Our guide spins the steering wheel and guns the engine through potholes, culverts and trail-crossings — it’s like being on a roller coaster…without the safety bar. Our butts lift off the hard bench and then slam back down. Our objective: Elephants!

            We’ve heard on the radio that they’re feeding on some trees right next to one of the jeep tracks. After a short ride punctuated with kidney-bruising jolts we see the other Land Rover … and the elephants. The mammoth matriarch is indeed just 10 feet from the track. Our guide pulls in tight behind the other truck. Two minutes later, another Rover rolls in right behind us.

            Not long after that Ms. Elephant schools us in just who rules the bush. She tromps slowly, but with purpose, right up to our truck. We can’t acknowledge her dominance, and our submission, by moving away because our Rover is, yikes, blocked in! As you’ll see in the video she turns, flaps her ears (elephant chest-thumping) and nearly sticks her head into the back of the truck. She could have easily flipped our vehicle like a cat tossing a mouse. Watch to the end to hear our nervous gasps and then our titters. After we’re able to drive off, my husband, the videographer, quips, “Now we laugh.”

 

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