I woke up one night to the sound of an elephant trumpeting. This is not terribly unusual, so I laid there for a minute, but didn’t hear anything more so I went back to sleep. The next morning I was looking in the direction of my water trough when I noticed that the fence didn’t look right. I walked down to the fence and when I looked to the south, my left, this is what I saw:
Some animal had obviously hit the fence and bent a number of the y-standards at a slight angle. When I walked along the fence to the south a few meters this is what I noticed:
That is the spore of an elephant, in this case the left front foot, just outside the fence. I took another couple of steps along the fence and I saw this:
That is the spore of the right front foot of the elephant. Now, I couldn’t figure out how the right front foot landed inside the fence until I asked myself a question. When the elephant’s left front foot hit the ground, where was his head? Well his head was about a meter inside the fence line. He was still technically outside the fence but the y-standards would have been bent at 30 to 40 degree angle.
Now, if his head was a meter inside the fence line, then he had already come into contact with the top electric line which runs around the outside of the fence. So, when his left front foot hit the ground he was already trying to turn around and run the other direction. And since his left front foot hit the ground so close to the fence his left front leg would have made contact with the other two electric lines, so he was really trying to turn around and run away. As for that spore inside the fence, the bottom of his right front foot probably caught the bottom of the fencing material and slid it up the bent-over y-standard far enough for his foot to come down inside the fence. Then after he ran away the y-standards rebounded to the position in the first photograph and the fencing material slid back down making it look like his foot had magically gone through the fence before it hit the ground.
This illustrates one of the interesting things about living here. Every so often I get presented with a puzzle; a damaged fence, some spore, etc. and I have to figure out what happened.