Written, and photographs, by Greg McCall-Peat
Well, tickle me pink… One thing becomes clear when out in the bush on a daily basis – nature never runs short of surprises. When you think you have seen it all, suddenly you see something completely out of the ordinary that makes you realise how amazing it actually is being out in the wild!
This was the case for us when we set out on an afternoon drive a few days ago. As we approached one of the waterholes we noticed a large herd of elephants feeding on the new lush green vegetation. However, part of the herd was clustered together. On closer inspection we noticed a tiny elephant calf laying down in the shade provided by the adults grouped around it.
At first we thought the calf was a newborn maybe a day or two old due to the pink coloration on its ears, at that point all we could really see was the odd ear flap. It was only when the little one started to wake up and get to its feet that we saw it was in fact a very special elephant.
Now everyone knows the old saying that if you drink too much you will see pink elephants, but on this day, right before our very sober eyes stood a pink elephant calf. Young calves are often pink, as mentioned they have pink tinges to the ears and trunk, but this one was pink all over!
It had white hairs on the tip of its tail and blue eyes too. One of the most fascinating things was how the rest of the herd knew to shield the baby from the harsh sunlight, every time the calf moved the rest would clump around it keeping it in the shade.
The calf waking up from his slumber giving us the first glimpse of how special he actually is.
The attentive herd sheltering the pink calf, you can clearly see the colouration difference between the adults and the calf.
When the calf did stray out into the sunlight he squinted in the bright light and quickly called his mom to offer some shade and relieve himself from the harsh light on his blue eyes.
Although different, this little elephant has even more of an endearing quality to him that you just can’t get enough of.
This really was one of the most amazing sightings that we have experienced in our careers of many years in the bush and certainly one that we won’t forget. We look forward to seeing this young elephant grow up and provide many more amazing sightings.