Sometimes, for me, it is impossible not to laugh at certain animals. Whether it is a monkey swinging from branch to branch or them wrestling and tumbling outside my room on the grass while some swing in my hammock (yes you read that right), or if it’s a Rhino calf with its over-sized feet and bulky toes stumbling around with its head held high doing circles around its mom, often bounding off with sudden bursts of energy.
Of course, I can not leave out the joy of watching leopard cubs playing with their mom or siblings, jumping from branch to branch (sometimes losing their balance while chasing each other on the tree) or the obvious stalk of a cub trying to surprise its mom who already suspected it as the cub was in clear view…
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Another funny event would be when you spot a warthog from a distance who isn’t accustomed to the vehicles yet and they dart off away from the vehicle, their tail in the air like an aerial and skid around the corner with nothing but dust left behind. This usually has us in hysterics.
For me, an elephant calf may be on the top of my list. They have to be some of the most entertaining young animals to watch. Through play and experimentation, they slowly learn to use their trunk, however, with the trunk being such a dextrous appendage this learning takes a really long time and provides viewers with such entertainment. Often swirling it around in the air mimicking their mother feeding, or thrashing it out of what could be interpreted as frustration as they are unable to pick up a stick with as much ease as the other elephants.
Elephants will use the trunk to drink, where they suck water in and then hold it there before spraying it into their mouths. This requires a fair amount of control and coordination, which the young ones lack, resulting in them planting their whole face in the water trying to get a little drink.
Something that is even better is when the youngster gets a little more confident and attempts to intimidate the vehicle by giving us a warning charge, they raise their head into the air looking down their floppy trunk, with their ears splayed out and run towards the vehicle. Only to rapidly watch the bravery slip away as it kicks up some dust and turns to run back to the safety between its mother’s legs.
When the rest of the herd are standing and feeding often the youngsters end up flopping over onto their side to roll around on the floor, tumbling over each other in what looks like such fun.
All in all, there is a method to these elephants calve’s madness and for the Leopard cub’s playful stalk. It has been proven through evolution that this is what they need to do to survive out in the wild, but what is the point of life out here if we can not take joy from their funny behaviour? We all need to laugh and who knows maybe they “laugh” at us too?
What is your funniest animal?