Elephants never forget

21 May 2021

Do you have a favourite animal? As the title might lead you to believe, mine is the elephant.

My fascination with these majestic creatures started when I was three. My parents had taken me, along with my toddler brother, to visit Chester Zoo. At one stage during this visit, I had wandered off and was found minutes later back at the elephant enclosure, staring open mouthed at a mother and baby


Elephants are revered in many cultures. For example, in Hindu mythology they symbolise power, wisdom, integrity and strength. Figures of elephants are thought to bring good luck and positivity to homes and gardens. If you were to visit me, you would find over 50 elephant figures/fridge magnets/soft toys and the like, which I have amassed over the last sixty or so years, dotted all over the place!

I think we all know that the gestation period for an elephant is the longest of any mammal - 18 months for Asian elephants and 22 months for the African.

However, here are a few other interesting facts about elephants which you might not know. Elephants cannot jump, due to their leg bones all pointing downwards which means they don’t have the “spring” needed to push off the ground. And they are afraid of mice- or rather, because of their relatively poor eyesight, they get startled when mice dart past. They are highly intelligent animals with complex emotions, feelings and self-awareness. I read somewhere that an elephant is one of the few animals to recognise itself in a mirror.

So, as interesting (or not!) as this might be to you, what is my reason for sharing this with you? Is it because deep down I think I share some of the attributes of an elephant – and I don’t just mean the grey wrinkly skin! My husband, when asked about his favourite animal, said he did not have one. So I’m interested to know how many of you have a particular animal you identify with, and the reasons for this.

A final thought to finish. It is said elephants never forget – neither do I when it comes to feelings!


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