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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Elephant Happy Hours

Highlights from Chitwan national park. We spent an incredible afternoon with Shanti, a 60 year old elephant matriarch, who we had sponsored for an “elephant happy hour” where she gets a break from the routine and hard work of carrying tourists around on her back. Instead we walked behind her and delighted in her splashing, swimming, and wooping – just a grand old lady having fun!

Photo 1: Jake offers a raddish and feels a massive sense of wonder, at least I imagine so, with an immense and wise and precious animal.

Photo 2: The group walks behind Shanti in single file through a clearing between the forest and her swimming place.

Photo 3: Wyeth stroking Shanti, who tolerates him and all the rest of us gently, but we are under no illusions of having a special place in her heart.

Photo 4: Shanti crosses into the river to take a bath.

Photo 5: Scout gets closer to take a photo of a swimming and delighted Shanti!

Photo 6: Our jeeps crossing through Chitwan National Park

We were all deeply grateful for that afternoon with Shanti, and with Michael and Florian who run “Stand up For Elephants,” an NGO doing good and important work.