The elephants gathered in and around the dam near the stables for their afternoon swim. Jabulani took full advantage of the warm day by wallowing in the middle of the dam, while the others seemed content to just stand at the water’s edge and splash themselves.
After much cajoling Jabu eventually persuaded young Limpopo to join him in the water. She started out quite confidently, but soon realised that she was out of her depth and tried to swim across to the other side. Never one to pass up an opportunity, Jabulani playfully roughhoused and dunked the ‘out of depth’ toddler.
At first this wasn’t a problem as her trunk easily reached the surface, and she would pop up again quite quickly. But after a few too many dunks she wasn’t having fun anymore. I was on the verge of telling one of the grooms to call Jabu out in order to give Limpopo a break, when Munyati stepped in and sorted the matter out for me. He’d either heard or noticed her distress, and the next thing I knew he’d waded up to his knees in the water, flared his ears and trumpeted at the the rambunctious youngster. Jabulani immediately let Limpopo go and she quickly swam towards Munyati, who’d since been joined by Mupfuri. The two big bulls helped her out and gave her a reassuring touch on the back before she wondered off to join the other calves.
I found it interesting that it was the bulls that came to her aid, and not one of the females as one might expect. As for Jabu, he spent another ten minutes or so cavorting in the water before going in search of a more suitably sized partner to play with.