Photograph © John and Margaret


by John Yeo

  The two Asian elephants  in this photograph are from Thailand. For the purposes of this blog post I will call them Sava and Sabina, and just in the corner of the photograph little Shaheen can be seen, trying her hardest to get a taste of some of the tender bamboo shoots. It’s obvious though that Sava and Sabina have their trunks firmly in the trough and Shaheen as usual, will just get the leftovers.

 Sava and Sabina are part of a large herd of governing elephants that ruled over all the Thailand elephant population. Indeed Sava has an important job as chief adviser to the President Elephant.

At present all the herd are under strict quarantine rules due to the outbreak of a mysterious, mosquito-borne virus that seems to strike the elephants in the part of the anatomy where their tail protrudes. Sava and Sabina are in danger of total exclusion from the herd as they have broken the rules and wandered off to have fun with some relatives at a distant waterhole. Sava was spotted by some roving Indian Elephants who were on a visit with a circus from Delhi.  All hell broke out among the whole pachyderm population. Sava must be forced to pay for his impudent disregard of the regulations and be sent back into the furthest reaches of exile where he originated. However the President Elephant was a personal friend of Sava and lifted his trunk and trumpeted out, loudly claiming the rest of the world were all mistaken and Sava and Sabina made the journey simply to protect little Shaheen from the dreaded mosquito virus. This whole situation became not just a nationwide example of elephantine hypocrisy but a worldwide reflection of how not to handle a crisis. As one elephant in one area trumpeted his thoughts to another elephant, the Trumpet Major himself, the most powerful elephant in the world declined to trumpet a comment.

 ©  Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.