My love for nature

Sabi Sand · October 2019
By Johan Ndlovu
Field Guide

A drive in nature is never predictable; it’s full of emotional fluctuations, and with my love for nature it’s usually full of joy and freedom. But on this specific drive we spotted a sad sight. It was a dead adult elephant bull and seeing its lifeless body being devoured by different types of scavengers brought sorrow.

With proper deduction, we could see it was nearing its final set of its six molar teeth, which it reaches at old age, which is about 65 years old. The carcass had no sign indicating it had been killed, so it probably died a natural death.

Elephants live in matriarchal societies and are full of immense wisdom. They are well known for their good memories and their display of mourning when a herd member dies. Mother Nature has her wise way of acting too; the fall of one is the rise of others, and the death of this gentle giant gave sustenance to nature’s disposal crew, the scavengers. This scene attracted approximately 30 hyenas, all equipped with some of the strongest canines and bite forces. With these they can with easily break and chew bone. The elephant’s death gave them a huge free meal, one they didn’t have to hunt for themselves, and it meant another few days spent with a full stomach. Along with the hyenas were a variety of vulture species. It was an emotional scene to witness, but Mother Nature made sure nothing went to waste.

By Johan Ndlovu
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