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Friday, February 03, 2006

Dumb and Dumbo

Can Nephelumps really fly if they flap their ears hard enough? That's what Myra and I decided to go and find out! We caught what looked like a train but was actually a roller-coaster in disguise complete with kids (and me) screaming their lungs out as we passed through various tunnels on our way to a place called 'Pinnewala'.

Pinnewala is home to around 60 elephants and a small army of mice to keep them in check. There are two highlights to the day at the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage - Feeding Time and Bath Time.

Feeding time takes place in a smallish enclosure with only four elephants and a couple of handlers to feed them with large milk bottles. I reckon that I might try persuade a few of them to make up a travelling 'boat team' for any world wide drinking competitions that we stumble across as they can really guzzle the gargle.

After feeding and some apparently well needed elephant loo breaks it was time for a quick ramble around the park. Just a small distance away the other 50 odd nephelumps are to be found roaming freely about. It's really amazing to be able to wander right up to them and touch the little baby elephants. Be careful though as they seem to hunt like Veloci-Raptors and before you know it you're completely surrounded (and still no sign of Mr. Goldblum)!

One elephant who definitely deserves a mention is Sama. This poor guy had the lower part of one of his front legs removed by a landmine. It's really tough to watch him limp from one place to another, especially as his back is becoming increasingly contorted as he has adapted to his injury.

Bath Time! Before you know it all 60 odd elephants are stampeding towards the river behind you! This was the best part of the day as the nephelumps spend the next 2 hours or so splashing about in the river water. I threw peanuts and super-soaked them, I even tried stealing their last Rolo - but nada.

So although it seems that nephelumps can neither fly, be used as portable fire-hoses nor shoot peanuts from their trunks they're still well funky and definitely worth visiting!

(Myra has a wee photo gallery exhibition on her page so don't forget to drop in for some nice shots!)


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