|Statue of an elephant at the Boma on the Wild Africa Trek|
And elephants are an important aspect of this. It's no secret that elephants are big, intelligent and unique. They are caring of their young and each other. It should not come as a surprise that where elephants occur naturally (Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent) they are an integral part of the culture and mythology.
|on the bridge leading to Anandapur|
Ganesh is the Hindu elephant god. He is the remover of obstacles, the patron of both art and science, and even the god of beginnings. With such broad domains, he is one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. Buddha often references elephants in his teachings.
|wall décor in Harambe|
Obviously, the animals were domesticated and even used in war. We all know the story of Hannibal crossing the Alps on elephants. We have heard the history of Alexander the Great's conquest of the Middle East into even India fighting elephant cavalries.
|The maharajahs used elephants|
In Africa, elephants are well respected and even in some cultures feared. Tribes in some places would migrate away from herds avoiding them as much as possible. Other cultures believed the spirits of their ancestors were carried by elephants. Each tribe has a different take, but in all circumstances they were a fundamental part of life.
|Even Mickey and Minnie are impressed|
Today, elephants are some of the most popular zoo animals. They are the highlight of any African safari. People love them. They love to watch them. Despite all of this, poaching is on the rise and the species is in trouble, so on this day, we should reflect on how important they are to the culture of humans.
By Safari Mike