Lifescapes Gallery

27 / Feb / 2013
Momma’s Boy!
Elephant Calf, Kabini Photograph: Ganesh H. Shankar Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

Momma’s Boy!

If we polled our fair women readers, chances are a high percentage will claim that men never grow up, and are metaphorically attached to their momma’s skirts. We men can take solace from the fact that we aren’t alone in this particular affliction. In Kabini, there exists a lad who’s the biggest baby of them all, both literally and figuratively! Coming into the world at a whopping 77 to 113 kg (coincidentally, where most of us men end up), the Elephant Calf has an officially sanctioned infancy of up to ten years. This means he can be fussed over, fed, and generally babied without worrying about his reputation. In fact, this pampered brat takes refuge behind scientific studies that show how this mollycoddling is actually critical to his educational development! With a brain approximately 30% the size of his mother’s (we shan’t share this section with our women readers lest they draw the inevitable comparisons with their men) the majority of the newborn calf’s brain development will happen outside the womb. This explains why he is constantly surrounded by well-meaning women telling him what do (the story of our lives too…sigh!). In fact, while his biological mother takes the lead in this role, she’s assisted by several foster moms who all step in to let free rein to their maternal instincts. This prolonged and intimate kinship is critical to the calf’s development, because, along with all the milk and food, he is also fed a steady diet of elephant lore and survival skills to equip him for the world outside. But that’s in the distant future, and today is a time when he feeds, rests, travels, rests, plays, rests… like there is no tomorrow (yeah, yeah, we get it; you women don’t have to give those knowing looks!), secure in the liberating comfort of a band of mothers ready to baby him at the drop of a hat.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 at 6:24 am and is filed under Mammals . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. says:

    great shot ! also nice to see one from a little distance ..just to see the whole picture..good writing..excellent ………… ! let live like us & our childrens……………….. !!!!!!!!! thanks……..

  2. Mahesh Andar says:

    Ha ha…!! Wonderful photo and great narrative! Kudos to the writer.. Nobody could have put it better.

  3. neel pratap says:

    great shot ! also nice to see one from a little distance ..just to see the whole picture..good writing..excellent …………

  4. MGR Maran says:

    This brings back fond memories. Is that Meenakshi who have given birth to the calf? It will be news for my family as we still have fond memories of her since our last visit.

  5. Christina K. says:

    Every time I see a picture that you send me, I am amazed as to the great pains one must have gone through just to get the snap. God bless you all for the picture as well as the write up, which is such a blessing to the eyes as well as the heart. Thanks for the good work.

  6. Viji says:

    Beautiful write-up. I thoroughly enjoyed the parallels drawn on human “boys”.

  7. shefaali says:

    Excellent story! I simply admire the way the silent tales of the ever-lively wild life and mother nature are narrated! Always a pleasure to read and share the LifeScapes emails!

  8. Mohansundaram Somu says:

    Wonderful place to stay …

  9. Anne Daly says:

    Dear Rajesh and Ganesh,
    I cannot tell you what a pleasure it was to open the e-mail from Orange County this morning with the photo and story of the baby elephant. Hearing from Kabini has brought all the wonderful memories and images back and I look forward to receiving more instalments from Orange County until I can return to Kabini in person.

  10. Anu ElishaAnu Elisha says:

    Lovely photograph! And, the hilarious (and informative) write-up is certainly a gem 😉

  11. ravivetrivel says:

    Amazed at the narrative. One picture talks a 100 words but what you have achieved is a beautiful picture with an equally beautiful narrative. We would love to visit the Orange county again and also get in touch with this this wonderful team which has composed this masterpeice blog

  12. Narayanan Raju says:

    Superb picture with an equally superb writeup. Keep it up!

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