Elephants Don’t Surf! Pass it on…

An elephant frolicking in FRESH water - as it should be. Note the lack of surfboard... "Watch this Ellie. Just one more push and we got us a waterhole!"

An elephant frolicking in FRESH water – as it should be. Note the lack of surfboard…
“Watch this Ellie. Just one more push and we got us a waterhole!”

Seriously, have you ever been out surfing and had an elephant glide past you on a wave? I’ll bet all six of my toe rings that you haven’t. That’s because elephants don’t surf.

There’s a series of photos and videos that have been making their way around the net for far too long. They feature a baby elephant ‘playing’ in the surf. It looks all very cute, but it is a very wrong picture. So very wrong! The Mahout Foundation have put out a video that shows what goes into the training of baby elephants – the ones you see in these ‘Have you ever seen anything so cute?’ pics, the one’s that are still unfortunately left in circuses, the ones you buy bananas for on the streets in Bangkok and the ones apparently frolicking in the surf, amongst others. Continue reading

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Things That Rustle in the Night – or – No Nasties in New Zealand

No words really...

No words really…

Much as I enjoy wandering around the fascinating tropical areas of Asia, there are times when I’m pretty glad I live in New Zealand. As I sit here right now (about midnight), in my awning outside my tiny house caravan, I can hear loud rustling outside amongst the dry leaves – the rustlings of a nocturnal creature of some sort. I am remaining fairly calm about this, because I know the odds are it’s just Russell, the avocado-eating prickle-critter. Russell won’t eat me. He just eats snails, slugs, cat biscuits (stolen ones taste best) and avocados. I think that’s why he lives around my tiny house – it’s situated under a plum tree and an avocado tree, and lately it’s been raining avos down so hard that it pays to wear a helmet outside. A veritable feasting ground for a prickle-critter.

Russell the prickle-critter, saving me from nasty vicious avocados.

Russell the prickle-critter, saving me from nasty vicious avocados.

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Thailand 2013 (1) – Volcanoes, Icicles and No Camels and Welcome to Your Asian Experience.

The volcano we flew over.

The volcano we flew over.

Hi all. As you can see, we made it to Thailand safely and are still alive and kicking so far.

 We got to Auckland Airport with plenty of time to spare, and managed to get the Malayasian Airlines staff to accept our slightly overweight luggage at check in – we have our wonderful donors to thank for that: Whangamata Library who donated books for Cambodian kids, Whangamata Vet Hospital who donated syringes, gloves, IV lines, etc, for the Elephant Nature Park clinic, and Sunny’s, Whangamata who gave us coloured pencils and half a carton of kids t-shirts, also for kids that are less fortunate than us. Awesome people, bless their lovely hearts for that! Peter modified a large plastic toolbox to use as a suitcase, which gave the check-in staff cause to wonder if he was transporting tools, but it was more along the lines of a good hard shell, somewhere to sit while waiting in line after line, as you do when travelling, and also a rather marvellous vehicle for scooting around the large international airports. We can duly report that this worked very well, as well as amusing airport staff. We try to be adult, but it doesn’t always work out that way… 

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