Learning (Memories of the Maasai Mara Series)

Tusk against thorn

Infant elephants have little control over their trunks. They must practice coordinating its movement to source food, eat and drink. These valuable skills are learned from interaction with their environment and through social learning.

We watched as a baby elephant mimicked the behaviour of its mother and peers, learning the essential skills required to survive life in a transitory herd. The baby practiced crushing acacia thorn bushes with its feet to soften the plant before using its trunk to pluck the foliage and feast on this most minimal ration. The baby stole our hearts – occasionally he’d fall over his trunk or lose control of it completely, but he never stopped practising until the herd had moved on and he’d run as fast as he could to gain ground and practice crushing acacia thorns once more.

This post is the 4th in the series “Memories of the Maasai Mara” and is an extract from the Taraji Blue book “Memories of the Maasai Mara” …

Privileged to spend eight nights in the Maasai Mara in October 2009, we relished the opportunity to revisit our land of dreams.

Ever since our first visit to Kenya in 2005 we’d fallen in love with the continent and had longed to return. For four years we’d played our Africa CDs daily and viewed our photos longingly, anticipating the day we would return. Back in 2009 we had our chance…

Each morning we bounded out of our beds and into the wilderness, eager and hopeful of what the day would bring. We owe much of our success to the fantastic guides and staff of the Kicheche Bush Camp, Mara Safari Club and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who we cannot praise enough and to whom we long to return.

It is through our experiences and time in Kenya that we tell, and re-live, our memories of this amazing continent, and above all, of the Maasai Mara.

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