“This! Baby elephant!” our guide said as he leaned over a particular pile of poop. He leaned closer, and then smiled up at us, “Not too far away.”
My husband’s daughter looked incredibly hopeful. We had been following elephant dung for a while now as we frolicked purposefully through acres of wilderness.
“This is beautiful,” I told her, a bit later as we stopped in front of another one of India’s pretty waterfalls. We still hadn’t seen an elephant, “Absolutely beautiful, but they should just call it a hike. It’d be worth it at that. Now we have our hopes all up, and apparently the odds of seeing a wild elephant aren’t that great.”
In the end, the closest we got to wild elephants was their dung. But I enjoyed the peace and quite of the Periyar Nature Reserve. And I was happy to support and help preserve a home for India’s magnificent elephants and tigers.