But do not try this on your next safari.No RCT to date.!The behaviour of the African elephant.Not tested in the Asian elephant.
Shared by Ruthraj Edwards
News, Views and More from Batch'64, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, SriLanka
"Best and the Brightest from 1964"
Shared by Ruthraj Edwards
25 thoughts on “Calm Energy- Eddie”
Thank you Eddie for your advice
Probably the only way save one’s life
If confronted with a wild beast of this size
There are not many options else
No man can run faster than a pachydermis
Facing such a beast if one calmly stands
Over the puny subject in front will not have any qualms
Yet must say, one needs, pardon the pun, mammoth guts
I am usually calm when I am faced with an adverse situation. However to stay calm when a massive wild animal like an Elephant is charging straight at me , forget it.
I was faced with situation once at Yala. We were in a car and as we approached a lone Elephant it , came rushing towards the car . The tracker got out of the car raised his hand and uttered some words and the Elephant stopped in its tracks. The elephant stood there watched us for a few minutes and retreated into the jungle. It happened so quickly that there was no time to get scared. The thought came to our mind later , what if the Charm or the ” Manthra ‘ did not work. It was a full grown elephant and the force and the speed of the elephant would have toppled the car ( Vauxhall Wyvern ) and perhaps I would not be here to tell you the story. I would have been about 15 years old.
Thanks Eddie for sharing the video..
Dear Nisantha and Eddie,
Fantastic story I love to know the tracker did say
we once confronted on ‘Bundala to K’gama way
A wild fellow called ‘saliva Kota’ across the highway
VW beetle went up to the beast & reversed all the way
Thanks Ariya and Nisantha for your story.Trackers claim to know the spells that work.When you listen carefully the South African too did say something as the animal advanced.Perhaps it is the way that one stands his/her ground and orders the animal to halt.The tone of the voice rather than a spell, I think.In any event it can be a terrifying experience and it will be difficult to keep a calm and commanding voice.Eddie.
What a wonderful video clip. I love elephants from a distance but mortally scared of them when they come close. If I had seen that incident I would have wetted my pants so to speak. A couple of years ago when we were on an African Safari and the tracker gave us instructions on what to do if we were confronted with an elephant. About an hour into the safari an elephant appeared from no where and stopped in the middle of the road and started eating leaves from the trees. He/she was only about few yards from our vehicle. I was petrified, the vehicle tried to reverse back into a dusty road just behind us but we could not do so as another vehicle had already seen the animal and parked his vehicle there. So I followed the instructions given by the tracker before the trip and I got out of the seat and lied flat on the floor of the jeep, and kept quiet like everyone else. Ranjit was brave and he started taking photos of the elephant. The driver switched off the engine told us to be quiet and directed a beam of light on to the side of the road and the elephant retreated in to the jungle. It was a harrowing experience and that as a moment where prayers came to my mind on demand.Praxy
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Thanks Eddie for the elephant story and Nisantha for your experience .
Here is my story – this was at Uda Walawe- 2003 November .
Elephant Mantara at Uda Walawe National park .
I was in a group of 5 ladies- ( Praxy would know them- as we were all in Holy Family convent back in the day ) , and we were all out on a big trip to Uda Walawe , spending some 3 days out in the park visitors houses .
We were on the Elephant Watching day that day- when the road was blocked o ff by a herd of about 50 elephants — on both sides of the jungle road and on the road .
Our driver and the guide were expert elephant trackers/ guides, and knew the elephants well, and we were told before hand, that they knew the Elephant Mantara well.
I had implicit faith in the guides / Mantara way of dealing with a situation .
The Guide and Driver. recognized the Matriarch elephant- and talked to her in the Elephant Mantara Language , in a very friendly and calm manner, and the Matriarch responded , by looking at them.
The Body Language of the Matriarch told them, ” they are waiting for some one to return ” .
We were re- assured, and told to be VERY quiet- and you could hear a pin drop in the jungle .
The herd too waited patiently- moving from side to side, waving their trumpets, but all the time- very calm.
So, we waited and waited – for ever it seems , and there was another jeep with European Tourists too , on the opposite side .
After what seemed like eternity ( perhaps 30 mins ! ) the herd became active and started ‘communicate with each other ‘ and the guide told us that “who ever that got lost from the here is now returning ” .
Sure- it was a juvenile with a baby elephant !’
It was such a lovely emotional greeting response by the entire herd- they lifter their trunks, trumpeted and greeted the Juvenile and the Baby with such deep feeling- … I could have cried …
I wish I had video taped it- but, back then,all I had was a little 35 mm Pentax .
But, the Kodak Moment- is still imprinted in my head .
Then, they all gathered into one big herd and off they went in the tropical jungle sunset , and we went on our way .
This just goes to show- the Family Dynamics of the Animal Kingdom and how well they inter act with each other and with us , only if we give them their due Respect, Space and Time .
Of course, our guides too knew how to ‘handle the elephant’ and the good old fashioned Elephant Mantara worked .
I had sooo much faith in the Guides ability- that it never occured to me, ‘ What If ” !
There are many instances like this that I have actually seen on google – with Elephant Mantara saving the day in Sri Lanka .
Thanks Eddie for this post .-. very enlightening indeed .
Yes I can remember that incident being related to me. I was so sad that I could not join you all on that trip as I was after my first Neurosurgery on my spine. I love elephants but only from a distance. I wonder if I am sacred of them because once when were visiting the elephant orphanage at PInnawela I got on to ride an elephant. When the animal started I got so frightened when he increased his pace and I said mistakenly DAHA. This is apparently the word used by the mahout. When we were told what to do, obviously I had misunderstood what the mahout told us at the start. It was the wrong word to use and that apparently is the reason why the elephant speeded up.. Praxy
Thanks Praxy. You have had many interesting episodes with elephants. In the wild they are the most caring parents.They also believe in communal living and helping each other.They are very interesting animals and we must protect them.Eddie.
Praxy– stay away from elephants !
Thanks Deepthie, a super story.You are a born story teller! Eddie
Hi folks- Look up google — ” Ali Manthara – Dineka Silva “– Very Interesting .
Mr Silva’s voice is not so calm, but, he did stop a few charging elephants at different times .- mostly around Kataragama/ Yala/ Uda Walawe area .
Enjoy Ali Manthara – eagleD
Thanks Deepthie,I did look up the post by Dineka Silva. Yes, this man is brave. I note that the out stretched arm is one of the features apart from his “manthras”. Perhaps the elephant identifies the outstretched arm as an image of itself.or of it’s species.!!! I have seen a video clip of a similar approach by a young woman , in it she holds her arm out but does not utter any orders but steadily keeps her ground.Interesting. Eddie.
Dear Deepthie Eddie and Ariya,
I think I will have to learn the ALI MANTHARA before I go on another Safari. Probably just seeing the elephant approaching the vehicle might make me forget the words altogether. Praxy
HI Eddie and Praxy-
During the time of the Uda Walawe trip- there was NO Fear in me at all , where as the others were very scared .
Same on my trip to Harare- Zimbabwe- when Ianthie and my self had a GREAT encounter and she was flat on the ground of the jeep through sheer fright, and I was up clicking away at the elephant on the road side, trying to get to the marula fruits with its long tusks by jabbing at the marula tree trunk.
When the marula fruit falls, it is eaten, by the elephant, the fruit turns into alcohal in the belly of the elephant, and there is the Elephant Dance !!
We did not wait to see the Elephant Dance ( !! ) but stopped to watch the elephant for quite some time .
Then, it very calmly crossed the road and walked into the forest .– all the while traffic stopped on both sides of the road to see this spectacle .
I guess animals recognize the emotion ‘Fear’ and react to it .
It was the same with my encounter with a wolf and black bear cub along my wooded walking trail, during summer, and my Fox Snake Encounter- some years ago .
I think, I wrote about it to the blog -” Snake Charmer ‘ last year .
Fear Not !!
eagleSnake Charmer !
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Thanks for your video & the interesting stories from others. My storey is short :-
I was riding my 110 cc Moto Guzzi along the Dambulla – Vavunia Road heading to Jaffna . It was getting dark – An elephant started chasing me for a kilometre – I panicked!!!! –
Quick thinking helped me :- I saw a small side road on my right – so, I switched on my indicator light to the LEFT & I turned RIGHT !!! The elephant went to the left !!! I made a u turn & went to Jaffna on time for my toddy!!!!!!! & I lived happily ever after.
Imagine that- YOU actually Tricked an Elephant !!
Very Smart– Keep Living Happily Ever After !!
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Thanks Seelan.Quick thinking saved you.Where is your Moto Guzzi ? it must be worth a fortune now for collectors of vintage motor cycles.Eddie
Hey Eddie and Seelan,
You think the elephant remembered the Lic # plate of the Moto guzzi ?
Elephants have a great memory chip in their heads you know !
Moto Guzzi was losing power. I sold it with the help of our Rahulatharan’s brother Balatharan ( a pilot) & then I bought a more powerful Honda – Elephants will have no chance!!!
I do not plan to go on a SAFARI at my age. It was very interesting your article, photos & stories. Seelan’s story of seeing Elephant , dogging him & going back to Jaffna for his Toddy, was very breathtaking!. Thanks, WIMAL.
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Dostara Wimal — what is wrong with YOUR AGE ?/
it is ONLY a Number .
THIS is the time, when you should go on a nice Safari– it is more fun than you ever imagine .
Perhaps in Yala, UdaWalawe. Minneriya- to see elephants .
I did another Elephant Safari at Kaudulla Nat Park ( 2011oct ) and it was fantastic – we had NO aggressive elephants- both man and beast- knew how to respect each others space and time .
Thanks Wimal.Nothing like a good story while drinking toddy.! Eddie.
Dear Eddie and Others,
Thanks for the interesting stories. Long years ago we were in Yala and from a second car we saw an elephant charging the car in front which had my sister and children. Those in the first car did not see the elephant due to the thicket. As soon as the Pachyderm got into the clearing the tracker jumped out and with hands raised shouted ‘Jah Aliya’ It was unbelievable how a charging elephant stopped in its tracks and went slowly backwards. Those of us in the second car were too petrified to say our prayers,except memorized ones. We went back and like Seelan had a good Arrack. Eddie, Asian elephants too respond to the trackers bravery.
Another Pachyderm story. I was stationed in China Bay and the Mess cook was cycling home to Muttur. He had a call of nature and rested his push cycle on one tree, and proceeded to wet the tree next to it. The trees started moving! It was an elephant. He ran for life and did not stop till he arrived at the Mess and lost consciousness!
Thanks Narme.Very interesting .The raised arm and a voice command together with holding your ground seem to be the common factors in communicating with elephants.I hope your cook produced a decent meal after his shocking experience.! Eddie
It is very interesting to read all the pachyderm stories. Seelan you better not confront the elephants 🐘🐘🐘 🐘 on a motorbike again they will remember the number plate and give you a chase😂😂😂😂😂.Eddie thanks for starting this blog as we have heard very interesting stories on 🐘 elephants because of your blog. 🙏Thanks