It was a hot afternoon, and I was guiding a handful of guests during an evening wildlife safari. I suggested to my guests that we should straight away proceed to watch any wildlife activity around the waterholes.

As we approached the first waterhole, we saw a herd of Gaur on our side of it, and there were Bonnet Macaques moving on the other. A handsome young Tusker appeared on the scene out of nowhere, and entered the waterhole.

His intention was clear as he came into the muddy patch of the waterhole and began throwing mud at all possible angles, thus cooling himself from the effect of the scorching sun.

Gaur, elephant at Kabini

The Elephant ‘Spa’?

Once done, the elephant started moving to the tank bund to enter the bushes (Any ideas on why else elephants have mud baths?)

However, the elephant’s exit was temporarily halted by a herd of female Gaur as they got into the tank to quench their thirst. The tusker hesitated for a while, and once sure that the cows were getting in, he began moving straight towards the herd. The Gaurs retreated. But the Tusker’s dominance was short lived, for an adult bull Gaur appeared on the scene.

 elephant and gaur, Kabini

Keeping a Safe Distance?

The bull Gaur steadily climbed down the tank bund for a drink, completely unmindful of the elephant. When both were face to face, it was the Tusker who backed off, step by step, paving the way for the Gaur. The bull then boldly entered in the midst of the herd and drank his ‘ambrosia’.

Size doesn’t matter after all, huh? 🙂