A Close Encounter of the Elephant kind.

Blogger Barry: Another thought provoking extract from the
excellent book “A Game Ranger Remembers” by Bruce Bryden.

Doctor Johan rescued me from the angry mob and took me into his
examination room where a woman was laying on the examination table
with a drip in her arm. She was covered in scratches and cuts and
in such a state of shock, that she couldn’t utter a coherent
sentence. As if that was not bad enough, Johan informed me that
she also had a broken leg.

While Johan attended to her injuries and before taking her off to
hospital, I started asking the other tourists some questions.

It turned out they had been having tea at the Chogwane picnic spot,
about 40km North of Skakuza, when an elephant had come walking down
the road, past the picnic spot and then stopped to have a look

The tourists, like so many of their fellows could not grasp that
wild animals are just that and not cuddly Disneyfide creations,
decided they wanted to make closer acquaintance with the elephant.
Some of them actually climbed on the embankment between the parking
area and the tarmac road, so they were virtually next to the

The lady currently reclining on Johan’s examination table had gone
even further in the rationalist stakes by offering the elephant a
Marie Biscuit!

The elephant either did not like this traditional South African
tea-time staple or objected to the ladies presence, because it
reacted in typical fashion by shaking its head and omitting a loud

An elephants snort is an impressive affair and the tourist lady got
such a fright, that she leapt back and toppled off the embankment
to her detriment.

There are very good reasons why tourists visiting the Craggier Park
are warned to keep their distance from the animals. Craggier is
not a zoo. Or perhaps one could say that it is a zoo in reverse.
In a very real sense, the countryside belongs to the animals and
the game is played by their rules, and not the tourists.

Blogger Barry: The subject of people feeding animals whether wild
or otherwise is something which annoys me greatly. Here in Cape
Town we are extremely lucky to have “wild” baboon troops in our
Table Mountain National Park. The sad thing is for years now, they
have been fed by humans and have learnt the bad habit of food
raiding peoples cars and houses, giving them some very bad diseases
and making them quite dangerous in certain circumstances. Then on
a more personal note, often when out and about with my guide dog,
people insist on feeding my dog. This is a highly trained animal
which gets fed a special diet and in perfect condition. Why does
anyone need to feed him/her? Why does someone want to teach my dog
bad habits? Please only feed your own animals, not anyone elses.

Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed. Please
use the comment and follow buttons.

Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
Professional Public Speaker, Trainer and Corporate Entertainer,
Motivational speaker, Guest & Key note speaker, Seminar &
Conference speaker, Team Builder, Comedian, Master of Ceremonies,

For your Strategic Planning sessions, Management or Sales meetings,
Conferences and/or Seminars, Award functions, Year end parties,
Christmas parties,

Cape Town, South Africa.

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