There is one universal experience that we share with the animal kingdom and that is death. Everyone and everything dies at some point. I think what is most interesting is how people and animals alike choose to deal with death. For instance, Elephants are very emotional creatures and they have a large capacity for mourning. The photo above represents this capacity. John Chaney, on safari in Botswana, captured this photograph of a female elphant mourning her lost companion. Chaney says that the guide of Chaney’s safari went to go collect the tusks of this fallen elephant so they don’t fall into the hands of poachers. When the guide got out of the vehicle, this elephant charged upon the group.
The elephant was there keeping a watchful vigil of her fallen friend. Chaney’s said that the elephant would show up and chase off any predators, scavengers and birds that got too close to the body of her dead friend. Chaney said at one point, the elephant went and wrapped her trunk around the fallen elephants tusk. Chaney said that three hours later, the safari passed by the sight again and the mournful elephant was still there holding onto the tusk of her lost comrade.
Oftentimes when an elephant is too old and about to die, the elephant will leave the heard to go die by itself. In this case, the female elephant followed to say goodbye. Today, I lost a member of my family. It was our cat, Priscilla. She was a great cat, lived a relatively long life and brought lots of joy and entertainment to my family. She had to be euthanized because she had lost her battle to cancerous tumors that had taken hold of her body.
I think the picture above is fascinating, but I think what I find much more fascinating is how photography was able to capture this priceless moment and make it a lasting impression. In one of my earlier blogs I posted that we, on average, have 28,835 days on this earth. One of my passions is photography and I think what continues to drive me to photography and enjoying photography is the opportunity to capture those “important” moments in life…those moments that inspire, those moments where we are enjoying the company of friends, those moments where we are traveling, interacting and truly taking advantage of those 28,835 days. Time is precious and so it is important we take advantage of every day we get.