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My long time best friend
Posted on: Friday, September 26, 2014
Blog Category: 'Wildlife & Reserves'

Samuel Leonard Chihana, from Mvuu Lodge & Camp in Liwonde National Park, talks about his long time relationship with Nellie the Mama Elephant. A female elephant he's watched for a number of years, she has a distinguishable feature- a missing ear. 

This female elephant during the dry season likes snacking on the yellow fever tree leaves in the Northern Ntangai area. She is also fond of visiting the camp grounds every now and again. She is an amazing mother, she was spotted watching over her friends’ calves within the herd while they were off grazing about 200metres away from the river during a drive safari.
She enjoys visiting the camp grounds from dusk to dawn and every year she spends longer hours grazing close to the camp. Little is known about how she lost her ear, it might have been an attack from a crocodile or a hyena when she was young. 
I will never forget the time I witnessed her humility. During a drive safari, in 2010, Nellie stopped her fellow elephant friends within the herd from charging towards our direction while game viewing, by restricting the female elephant that was keen on charging with her trunk, on the northern part of the Makhanga airstrip. Immediately after that, she led the breeding herd away by crossing the road in front of us, and we were safe.
21/09/2014 - She is now called Nellie the Mama Elephant.
Now-a-days she is often spotted carefully plucking from the thorny yellow fever bush during our boat safaris near the old Makhanga North of Mvuu Lodge. Recently she has been spending time along Ntagai area near Shire River. She is a dear friend of mine. I have been fascinated by Nellie since our encounter and also due to her maternal instincts. She watches her young calves, with care as she grazes in their realm.   


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