OK, I think normally it would be boring to use my blog to tell you what I just saw on the telly, but I also think that there's so much on telly these days that hey, if it's interesting, that's what blogs are for, right? Anyway, I'm sick of moaning about my problems, and I get the feeling most of my friends are having a tough January one way or another, so why not share something beautiful and amazing?
Cos, like, who watches telly during the 8pm mushbrain slot anyway? So maybe you didn't see this.
Well, I just happened upon this documentary about African elephants on BBC2, and it made me cry. There's this woman who has studied African elephants for about 30 years, and she has done a Jane Goodall type thing of following certain elephants through their lives over that period, so she knows them really well. In particular she has followed the family group led by the matriarch Echo, who is apparently in her 50s, quite old for an elephant. What an amazing person Echo is.
Echo had a baby girl elephant. They managed to film the birth even though it was at night, and she was attended by several other adult females, and you could see that they were "beside themselves" with excitement as the narrator said, singing in elephant language and dancing about. So, a beautiful and cheeky and rambunctious little elephant is born- and when she is 10 days old... get this... another elephant group comes along and gangs up on Echo and kidnaps the baby! Echo tries to fight them but she is brutally pushed away. She goes to her own group, gathers a bunch of them, and goes back, and they form a kind of line and rush the other group and rescue the baby. (Remember this is all females on both sides because elephant family groups are females and infant males only). I just cried when I saw all their big elephant bums with the little tails wiggling about (cos they filmed them from behind kind of bullrushing the other group) and then this absolutely tiny baby being rushed out like the U.S. president surrounded by mammoth bodyguards after an assassination attempt. Don't ask me why the whole thing made me cry it just did... but that was nothing compared with the next story.
This other elephant whose name I can't remember gave birth to a baby boy elephant. They usually stand up on their own within an hour. But he couldn't stand up- he was disabled- his front legs wouldn't straighten, so he could get his back end up, but was kind of kneeling on his front legs. His mother stayed with him and for ages tried to lift him up. You'd think, going by the traditional narrative we are told about nature, he would have ended up left alone and dead. But the mother, supported by her group, took care of him, and for many days he hobbled after the group on his knees. After a while (can't recall how long) he ended up able to stand and walk normally, eventually got bored and went off on his home like any elephant male.
I have another elephant story of my own, but I'll leave it for now.