From the Facebook page of primatologist and professor of Primate Behavior at Atlanta’s Emory University Frans de Waal, the image above. De Waal quotes wildlife photographer Scott Ramsay:

“There are different kinds of hunting. I saw this big bull elephant in Mana Pools National Park in northern Zimbabwe while I was walking with a guide and his guests. Why would anyone prefer to kill a wild elephant like this, rather than sit in front of it, as it stands over you, trusting you and accepting you into its personal space? This experience was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my life. My heart has never pounded harder.”

Why this post? Just to remind ourselves — and you — that at the heart of all this talk of conservation, and poaching, and man-animal conflict as recorded for instance in Kalyan Varma’s ongoing narrative┬áis a thinking, breathing animal who lets us be, and asks only that we reciprocate.

To nail that reminder, check out this Arati Kumar-Rao gallery of stunning images of elephants as they are meant to be seen, and appreciated. Sample image from Arati below:

Elephants 2