Elephant Family Checks Into Hotel Every Year For Mangoes
Most tourists on safari drive miles away from their camp to get a glimpse of wildlife in their natural habitats. But at a hotel in Zambia, the wildlife comes to the guests. Every year during mango season from October to November, an entire elephant herd in search of tasty fruits parades right through the hotel's lobby, making a beeline for the wild mango tree in the back. The resulting images are startling:
The pack is led by one intrepid elephant, a matriarch called Wonky Tusk, so named for her unusual backward-facing tusk.
Wildlife photographer Jonathan Scott explains Wonky Tusk's yearly journey:
Though it's entirely possible to simply walk around the lodge to get to the tree, the elephants habitually walk through its center, at which time the employees are careful not to approach them. With calves in tow, they're (almost) like any other group of tourists taking a family vacation.
While these elephants roam without problem through human areas, not all African elephants have such positive interactions with humans. Poaching for ivory has decimated populations in the past few decades. See this page for more information and how you can help save Africa's elephants.