I wish you could have been here to experience the exhilarating tour we took of “the land.” Hiking the forest, we found wild elephant dung and massive foot prints near a large pond, and a deep ditch designed to keep the wandering tuskers out.
As the sun began to descend we were driven to the top of a rock mountain. It was spectacular. The view was endless, the horizon hidden behind multiple layers of sprawling mountains. In the valley below, tiny billows of smoke spiraled up into the soft blue sky from fires set by villagers along the periphery of the park boundary, a sad reminder of the challenges of survival faced by humans and wildlife who reside so close together.
Nearby stood a towering metal observation platform with the perfect impression of a wild elephant’s head in the steel upright support. Without doing further damage the bull left his mark, an “I was here” signature.
Lizards scurried over the massive rock mountain top where stone graves remain, mostly intact, from an earlier time. From this vantage point the entire property could be viewed, giving a greater comprehension of the layout of the land. Then it started to rain — so very refreshing. As we left the forest I began to see it from the elephant’s perspective, vast, wild and private — home.
As we sat on the veranda talking, the sun set, the birds quieted and the glorious storm continued. We spoke of a wonderful project to create a safe and healthy place for captive elephants, a care center that will benefit a few individuals and serve as a model for improved elephant welfare for India’s precious elephants living in captivity.