We saw this large tusker browsing on bamboo from a distance and turned the boat towards him. He was so far that it took us about ten minutes to reach him. He seemed quite content browsing and we thought we would spend some time watching him.

After a while he turned and started walking towards us. We thought that he was approaching the water for a drink and moved the boat a little away so as to give him an opportunity to do so.

However he suddenly stopped by a ditch of muddy water beside the river and proceeded to squirt mud on himself. This is quite typical elephant behavior and we were not surprised. However we (my boatman Shivraj and me) noticed that he seemed to be trying to target his rear left leg. A look through the binoculars confirmed the presence of a wound – a round hole about a few inches in diameter. To get the mud on the wound he then proceeded to do the following

Finally he got up and wandered away. He was not thirsty, just taking his medication for the day! And did you notice? He is blind in the left eye. That might be how he hurt himself.