Oh baby, baby
The absolute best thing about being at the park for me would have to be the baby elephants. I cannot think of a more adorable creature on the planet. They are perfectly proportioned, hairy, fiesty, look like gummy old men and have such an attitude even when they are only a few weeks old - the babies are playful and not always that trustworthy which keeps things interesting.
There are six babies at the park at the moment - they are divided up into the categories of "Baby" which are the three 5 to 6 year olds who are about the size of a VW combi van, are very naughty but still need the attention of their adoptive mothers and aunties in the family. Then there are the "baby babies" a pair of almost 1 year old little sweeties who are about the size of a Harley Davidson who are still growing teeth, only eat bananas and are very, very playful. Then there is my favourite the "baby, baby, baby" at only 6 weeks old he is already 100 kilos, very agile and quite fond of sneaking out from under his mothers belly to try and trip us over.
The best time to play with the "baby, baby, baby" is in the late evenings when his mum and very protective aunties are chained up for the night and are preoccupied with eating their dinner. At this point the curious little BBB likes to peep out and see who there is to play with. After giving us a determined look he will charge out and barge his head straight into your bum while his little legs dance about trying to step on your feet. He will lean on you, try and trip you up and grab onto your arms with his little trunk before he gallops off looking very happy and back to the safety of mum.
He is also an amazing football player, his mahout would often kick a little basketball to him and out he would trot, dribbling away, using all four legs and his trunk. It is quite astonishing how developed these babies are considering they are not considered fully mature until they are about 17 (just like people).
The "baby babies" were fun too but a little bigger and a little less trustworthy. They were particularly fond of swimming under water towards you in the river and then leaping out all wild eyed waving their trunks about right under your feet - this always got a scream from me which they seemed to love. The baby babies also love sneaking up behind you and ramming you, trying to steal backpacks and generally making trouble.
The Babies are the scariest, with enough size to kill you but the mind of a little kid. Hope and Jungle Boy like to spend a lot of time rumbling with the bigger elephants and causing trouble. One lucky group of volunteers had to hide behind trees for safety while Jungle Boy tried to charge cause he didn't want to return from his walk - just like a typical teenage boy. Lucky he is just so cute.