The botanical name for the African Ebony: Diospyros mespiliformis translates to `divine pear with half-bullet shaped seeds’ and when the small brown `bullets’ drop from the tree, they are eagerly snatched up by bushbuck, monkeys, baboons, humans and elephants.

 

Elephants use their trunks to sniff for the fallen fruits, sifting through the dust and crushed fruits to find the fresh, juicy, just-dropped fruits. They pick them up using the prehensile `fingers’ on the ends of their trunks and blow the dust from the fruits, then pop them into their mouths and chew contently with eyes closed. Often, they become quite protective over the area that they are scouring, squealing in anger at companions or moving pesky humans from their comfort zones with warning charges.

 

And quite often, one catches them exploring all the regions of the camp. We caught this one scouring unfinished stock rooms in her search for the fruits that have been described as `food for the Gods’. She flicked her trunk at us in annoyance and then moved behind the building to continue her search.

 

 

Kaingo Camp

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