Learn Something New Every Day!


I have been saying for years how much I love elephants. 

I shared facts about them, praised them a few years ago on Elephant Appreciation Day, and lamented the world ivory trade.  I have posted many fun videos showing them in action.

back view

Today is World Elephant Day, so it only makes sense that I would applaud these gentle giants again.  They are truly impressive:  matriarchal, social, communicative and creative.  When I visited the World Elephant Day website, one of its logos said it all:  “BECAUSE WITHOUT ELEPHANTS WHAT KIND OF WORLD WOULD THIS BE?”


standingwalkingOf course, my encounters with elephants have not been extensive, mainly from visiting zoos.  The first time was when I was little and decided then and there I wanted a baby elephant as a pet.  It could live in the basement and backyard.  That did not seem unreasonable to me when I was five!  I also—many, many years later—was able to interact with an elephant who works in movies.  It was an arranged group visit where I was able to give Nellie a bath and join her for a walk through the Lancaster Hills.

Nellie and Me

I would love to see them in the wild often, relishing in their gentle strength and impressive presence.  Of course, living in Bakersfield, California, I do not have many opportunities to go on safari.  But I do follow de Wets Wild Blog and savor all of the animal sightings shared there from South Africa.  However, its World Elephant Day posting shows elephants in action in all their natural glory.  Please go visit this site—and enjoy!

Of course, you could also view films such as the award-winning Return to the Forest or watch the elephants at the San Diego Zoo via the Elephant Video Cam.

Photo from San Diego Zoo Website

Photo from San Diego Zoo Website

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“Elephants love reunions. They recognize one another after years and years of separation and greet each other with wild, boisterous joy. There’s bellowing and trumpeting, ear flapping and rubbing. Trunks entwine.”   Jennifer Richard Jacobson

“Of all African animals, the elephant is the most difficult for man to live with, yet its passing – if this must come – seems the most tragic of all. I can watch elephants (and elephants alone) for hours at a time, for sooner or later the elephant will do something very strange such as mow grass with its toenails or draw the tusks from the rotted carcass of another elephant and carry them off into the bush. There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, and ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.”  Peter Matthiessen

“It seems safe to say that apes know about death, such as that is different from life and permanent. The same may apply to a few other animals, such as elephants, which pick up ivory or bones of a dead herd member, holding the pieces in their trunks and passing them around. Some pachyderms return for years to the spot where a relative died, only to touch and inspect the relics. Do they miss each other? Do they recall how he or she was during life?”   Frans de Waal

“But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.”   Lawrence Anthony

“Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing.”  John Donne

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant is faithful one hundred percent.”  Dr. Seuss

“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephants except in a picture book?”  David Attenborough

 “When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.”  Abraham Lincoln


Comments on: "HAPPY WORLD ELEPHANT DAY!" (16)

  1. I think I’d be so afraid if I were near an elephant. However, I do enjoy seeing them in the zoos, even though I feel a little bad for them. That last photo of the elephant, face-to-face, is great.

    • They are so huge that ones in the wild would certainly be daunting to stumble upon. The one I met was used to people from being in the movies, so I was not nervous. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. What a great job you’ve done for World Elephant Day, Patti! The photos are so endearing and the quotes deep and thought-provoking.

    And thank you very much also for sharing our blog with your friends, we really do appreciate it!

  3. aFrankAngle said:

    Happy Elephant Day … and cheers to your love for them. Here’s something for you to enjoy.

  4. Deborah the Closet Monster said:

    I tried explaining the ivory trade briefly to Li’l D. He couldn’t fathom it, which I definitely understand.

  5. Patti, I so enjoyed this as I do everything you write. Sadly, I don’t always comment because I’m usually on the run, but please always remember how much I love and enjoy your beautifully written posts. I shared this with Tina because she, too, loves elephants and often wears a golden elephant necklace her dad and I gave her. She will adore your post.
    PS You forgot to share what your 5-year-old mind was telling you to feed your baby elephant in the basement. Wasn’t it Cheerios?
    Love always,

    • Thanks, Sherry! I know how busy you are, having been in that sort of work myself! ; ) I did not realize Tina loved elephants–I knew she was a honorary daughter for a reason. She will love the many photos in the de Wet Wilds blog. And you are right! Cherrios seem the best snack even for elephants.

  6. Happy belated World Elephant Day!

  7. I think that I’ve always loved seeing elephants. They, like dolphins and the greater apes have quite a bit in common with humanity. Sometimes, one must wonder if man were ever to sit down and run an inter-species conference, what would we come up with–after getting past the initial shock of learning we could talk to each other.

    I saw a documentary years ago that followed the career of a circus elephant from capture to zoo to circus to eventual release into a “retirement” sanctuary here in the US. It ended on a beautiful, marvelous note: the old girl recognized another elephant that she’d worked with many, many years ago. The two of them loved on each other, instantly becoming two old ladies recounting stories. It was beautiful to watch and a little sad, too. But wow. What a sight. What a marvelous animal.

    • Anthony: Thanks for stopping by. I love connecting with kindred spirits who are amazed by gentleness and humanity exhibited by elephants.

  8. […] written about elephants several times in the past.  They truly are magnificent.  Large, of course, but also intelligent, curious, and creative.  […]

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