Elephant Appreciation Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Take cover; climb a tree; lie down; protect your face; and know what an angry elephant looks like!"
~ From the Worst Case Scenario Handbook on "How to Survive an Elephant Stampede"
Gentle readers of this page would never make an elephant angry, but it is good to know the signs anyway which include: rocking of the foot (swings one of the feet up and down), kicking up dust; ears out; shaking of the head; still tail; and trumpeting! And if stampeding occurs, skip change of step to safety right away! A stampede is mass impulse among herd animals or a crowd of people in which the group collectively begins running, often in an attempt to escape a perceived threat. Non-human species also associated with stampede behavior include zebras, cattle, blue wildebeests, wild horses, rhinoceroses, and walruses! Elephants, in reality, are generally peaceful animals and not prone to stampeding without reason. Females may, however, be aggressive when young calves are present and bulls can be exceptionally aggressive during musth. All elephants may become aggressive when sick, injured or harassed! So ... appreciate rather than harass any elephants today! 🐘🐘🐘
Elephant Appreciation Day, September 22th, was founded in 1996 by pachyderm lover Wayne Hepburn after his daughter gave him a paperweight of elephants on parade and he became fascinated by them.
There are many things to appreciate about this most magnificent of beasts, but in the event that you are caught in a real elephant stampede (as opposed to maneuvering the Schiehallion reels in the namesake Scottish Country Dance), here is some advice from the "Worst Case Scenario" handbook:
Take available cover. Elephants stampede when they are startled by a loud noise or to escape a perceived threat. If the elephants are running away from a threat but toward you, do not try to outrun them. Elephants can run at a speed in excess of 25 mph. Even while charging, they can make sharp turns and are able to climb steep slopes. Seek a sturdy structure close by and take cover.
Climb a tree. The elephants are likely to avoid trees when running. Grab a branch at its base and use your legs to power yourself up the tree, keeping three of your limbs in contact with the tree at all times as you climb. If you cannot climb the tree, stand behind it. Elephants will avoid large obstacles when running.
Lie down. Unless the elephant is intent on trampling you, because you are hunting or the elephant thinks you are hunting, elephants typically avoid stepping on a prone human being, even while charging.
Protect your face. Do not get up immediately. After the threat has passed, an elephant may show great interest in the apparently dead bodies of humans and may attempt to “bury” you under tree branches, leaves, and dirt. If you sense an elephant moving above you, lie still and cover your face with your hands. The rough skin on the elephant’s trunk may cause severe abrasions if it rubs against you.
Be Aware. An angry elephant will tuck its ears back and curl its trunk up, away from danger. If the elephants are angry at you, they may attempt to spear you with their tusks and then fling your body. If the last human the elephant met was a hunter/poacher, it will be more likely to treat you as a threat and attempt an attack.
In 2014, a herd of non-stampeding elephant sculptures toured Scotland and the UK in order to bring awareness to the plight of Asian and other elephant species in the world as part of the Elephant Parade, the world's largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues.
Created by artists and celebrities, the life-size baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and help raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation. Click the colourful elephants below for more about this organization.
Appreciate elephants and toast to a hopeful future with the an Elephant Mudbath cocktail, a concoction of Amarula Cream Liqueur, vodka, and crème de cacao brown. Amarula, also called the Elephant Tree, is a favorite tree for grazing elephants and creates fruits which flavor Amarula Cream. For the cocktail, click here.