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Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Elephant Between A Rock and A Hard Place

Elephant Charging Mount Kenya 1910 Photo by Carl Akeley Pg 115
“I know of no experience quite so terrifying as to meet the charge of an angry elephant,” wrote Delia Akeley in Jungle Portraits. “To run is almost sure to be fatal, for the elephant, used as he is to stationary objects, quickly sees anything in motion.” 

“Delia was alone in camp with her porters and gun bearers on a cold, rainy evening in June of 1910 when a runner delivered the news in Kiswahili: Tembo piga bwana – “an elephant has struck the mister.” 

Akeley had been surprised in the forest, and his gun had jammed. The elephant, a bull, caught him between its tusks, tore the skin off the side of his face, and attempted to crush Akeley into the ground. It’s tusks struck something hard, a root or a rock, and, distracted, it took off after the porters, This distraction save Akeley’s life, for an elephant will often return to finish a job by sitting on the victim or hurling him against a tree with its trunk.”

Ted Lavender Reporting From Dead 0609 Hrs 07/13/2014


Rexer, Lyle, and Rachel Klein. "African Reflections." American Museum of Natural 
            History: 125 Years of Expedition and Discovery. New York: H.N. Abrams in 
            Association with the American Museum of Natural History, 1995. 114-16. Print. 
            Elephant Charging Mount Kenya 1910 Photo Carl Akeley Pg 115. After Shot 
            Photo of Carl Akeley Pg 116.

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