A Lancashire man had captured the ‘wonderful’ moment when a particularly nimble elephant climbed over a 5ft wall to try to swipe mangoes from his safari lodge.
The guests of Mfuwe Lodge in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, had just left their Saturday afternoon safari trip when an adult man made a surprise visit.
General manager Ian Salisbury, 68, spotted the male elephant figuring out how to drag its four giant legs over the stone wall without falling.
Ian’s hilarious photos show giant mammals crouching over walls in the same way humans can cross obstacles.
Doing it for the mangoes: A Lancashire man captured the ‘wonderful’ moment when a particularly nimble elephant climbed over a 5ft wall
Hilarious photos taken by Ian show giant mammals crouching over walls in the same way humans can cross obstacles
As it wandered into camp, Andy Hogg, managing director of The Bushcamp Company who owns the lodge, videotaped the giant creature’s brief but unsuccessful fruit hunt.
A family of elephants visited this site in southern Africa between October and mid-December, but this unexpected visitor was too late – looking for out-of-season mangoes.
Ian, from Bacup, Lancs, said: “He just chose the straightest path and did it himself at home.
‘The guests were very interested in the idea of a climbing elephant. They were surprised that it was difficult to climb over such a high wall.
And as it wandered into the camp, Andy Hogg, the chief executive of the Bushcamp Company, which owns the lodge, videotaped the giant creature’s brief but unsuccessful fruit hunt.
“They were driving hunting in the National Park at the time, so, unfortunately, missed seeing it [in person].”
The lodge has an open central foyer area and often attracts a family of elephants in early winter.
But the herd often follows a stoned path rather than the direct route of the wall.
Ian said: ‘He was a stranger to us. He wants to investigate. He wanted to enter the central area where this huge mango tree was.
“He was obviously quite hungry and is expecting to get some wild mangoes for himself, although there aren’t any left now. That’s all done for the year.
“He came and stretched out, looked around, ate some grass, then strangely turned around and went back the same way, which was quite amusing.
‘His easiest way to get there was to climb over this high wall. It’s really unusual behaviour for an elephant to climb so high.
Ian said: ‘He was a stranger to us. He wants to investigate. He wants to enter the central area where this huge mango tree grows.’
“It’s impressive that he was able to coordinate his four legs to get over the wall because the elephant was a fairly large bull, maybe about 30, very middle-aged.”
Given the unusually wet weather, Ian believes the lone elephant may have been encouraged to take a detour to avoid the floods.
Ian said: ‘Elephants tend to roam quite large distances, and they will appear in certain areas depending on food availability.
‘It has been quite dry than over the last week or so. We had huge amounts of rain that almost caused a flood. Whether that encouraged him to have a look around, I’m not sure.’