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Ballerina elephants- The Standing Giants of Mana Pools National Park 

Ballerina elephants- The Standing Giants of Mana Pools National Park 

Maita Zizhou

AS a dramatic sunset sweeps over Mana Pools National Park’s vast plains, a group of majestic elephants stands tall in the golden light, their silhouettes casting long shadows across the grassy expanse. These aren’t ordinary elephants; they are STANDING ELEPHANTS!

For generations, the elephants have roamed this area, captivating visitors with their unique behaviour. Unlike their counterparts in other regions of Zimbabwe who rarely do this, the standing elephants of Mana Pools, like ballerinas despite their size, gracefully rear up on their gigantic hind legs to reach the juicy vegetation out of reach on the tree branches.

In this position, the elephants can reach higher than the tallest mammals on earth-giraffes.

elephants ..by Chris Fallows

There has long been a fascination with this phenomenon among scientists and researchers and much has been speculated however they have asserted that this the elephants’ adaptation as a response to the park’s unique ecosystem. Mana Pools is known for its abundance of tall trees and shrubs. These trees make it difficult for elephants to reach succulent leaves and fruits higher up. By standing on their hind legs, elephants can access these otherwise inaccessible food sources, gaining a competitive advantage over other herbivores.

This is a sight that has left countless visitors breathless, a testament to these gentle giants’ extraordinary adaptability. Word of the standing elephants has spread far and wide, attracting wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. People from distant corners of the globe visit Zimbabwe to witness this incredible spectacle. Photographers set up their equipment, hoping to capture the sheer elegance and power of these magnificent creatures. As if in a trance, the elephants stand still, seemingly oblivious to the attention and awe they are subject to. It is a truly awe-inspiring sight to behold, the kind where you are stuck in the moment, unable to take your eyes off them. An experience that will stay in your memory forever.

Over time, the standing elephants of Mana Pools have become symbolic of the park itself, a symbol of resilience and survival in the face of adversity. Their ability to adapt and thrive in a challenging environment has inspired all who have encountered them because despite their sheer size, Mana Pools elephants stand on their hind legs with such ease, size here is just a matter of perception.

They are a reminder of the beauty and strength of nature and our need to constantly protect and preserve it. Their presence in Mana Pools is also a reminder of the importance of conservation and our responsibility to safeguard these magnificent creatures.

The standing elephants of Mana Pools are a testament to nature’s wonders, a reminder of life’s incredible diversity and adaptability. As long as these majestic creatures continue to roam the plains, Mana Pools will remain a place of awe and wonder. These African giants will remain forever etched in the hearts of those who have witnessed their unique behaviour.