Snoring Giants in the Backyard

For this years' World Elephant Day, we asked our field staff to share their most memorable elephant experiences. Here are their stories.

Carol and Donald Boag They randomly collapsed in a heap and spent the rest of the night snoring and farting. Carol and Donald Boag

Carol's story: It was pitch black when the alarm went off. Donald was leaving the house early. I went back to sleep, but shortly afterwards he woke me: “Quick, come and see this.” Armed with two torches we shone the light and could hardly believe our eyes when we saw fifteen elephant, all lying on their sides, fast asleep in our garden. I think it may well have been the most amazing sight I had ever seen.

For the next hour I sat on the doorstep in the dark and listened to the sounds of these sleeping giants less than twenty metres away from me. It would seem they had been heavily into pachyderm partying and had chosen our garden to sleep off their hangovers where they randomly collapsed in a heap and spent the rest of the night snoring and farting. It made me smile.

As the soft red ribbons of a beautiful African dawn crept into the sky I started to see their vague outline and gradually the scene unfolded to show the herd still sleeping, happily dreaming their elephant dreams. Daybreak crept on and with it the herd began to stir, rising to their feet one by one, grunting and bellies rumbling.  Hungry babies ran to their mums, prodding at her with uncoordinated trunks in search of the source of their breakfast. It was a magical time and I felt very privileged to be part of it.

Donald Boag is the Head of Finance for our African programme. He and his wife Carole live in a house in the middle of Serengeti National Park.

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