Short Trunk, the resident bull elephant of Tongole Wilderness Lodge in the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, recently visited for a delicious lunch!
Short Trunk is a friendly lone bull elephant that is well-known among the staff and guests of Tongole Wilderness Lodge. The last time we heard about Short Trunk, he had visited the river for a mud bath and then began destroying an abandoned poacher’s canoe he discovered nearby.
This time around, Short Trunk decided to visit the swimming pool at Tongole – the second visit of its kind in the last two weeks – and began sampling the surrounding indigenous plants. While he tucked into the aloe vera flowers, it was clear that the plant’s bitter leaves were definitely not his favourite.
He followed this up with a good munch on the leaves from the kudu-berry tree also found around the pool. His browsing finally took him to the monkey apple tree at the lodge’s Maya Deck but was frightened away when he put one foot onto the deck and brought the railing down with much noise.
Aloe vera has many medical benefits, such as reducing the inflammation of ulcers, remedying an upset stomach and bringing down a fever because of the quinine found in the plant. It also helps in wound recovery and treats various skin diseases.
So Short Trunk may have eaten the aloe vera because after testing it out, he tasted the quinine and other potential natural chemicals in the plant that would help him to remain healthy.
The staff at Tongole staff gave Short Trunk his name for having a shorter trunk, which is believed to have been cut off in a poacher’s trap. The good thing is that he is still able to eat and drink like other elephants. Unfortunately, he is unable to pick up small things which he would if he had the usual finger-like feature at the tip of an elephant’s trunk.
Along with elephants like Short Trunk, the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve is home to healthy populations of diverse animal, bird and plant species. Check out what the Tongole experience is all about.