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Elephants in Etosha. Up Close. Really Close.

Sometimes the wildlife can get really close.  The animals here in Etosha have seen so many people in vehicles, they are not afraid as long as you stay in the vehicle.  Get out of the vehicle, though, and they can run or panic and become dangerous.  
We had some elephants come very close in Etosha. Their behavior was very different than in the Okavonga when we came upon an elephant and it reacted as a wild animal that knows humans in boats are a real threat – he through up his head and trumpeted and warned us back. And certainly different than India when one of our bike ride companions was trampled by an angry female with a baby. 
While the parks protect wild game in many ways, they also become conditioned to humans and more susceptable to poachers. and there is poaching in Etosha – primarily of rhinos. The Etosha area elephants have smaller tusks, making them less of a worthwhle target for poachers looking for ivory. 
Here is the photo series:
Two male elephants having a nice late-afternoon drink at the waterhole
Mom taking a video of them drinking from our truck
The elephant comes closer to have a look and a sniff.  We get nervous.  These are some of the biggest elephants in Africa.  This guy is huge.
Eventually the elephant decides we aren’t interesting and walks around in front of the car to find a tree to eat.  He munches on the tree until we have to leave to get out of the park gate before sundown.

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