The Great Escape
Amazing Animals

Empangeni, South Africa


It looked like a scene from Madagascar: a herd of wild elephants unlatching a gate to set captive antelopes free! Thula Thula Wildlife Reserve rangers, who were studying the six antelopes, observed the elephants nosing around. But they assumed the animals were after some hay. Before they knew it, though, one elephant unfastened the gate’s latches with her trunk and opened the gate! The flabbergasted rangers watched as the antelopes bolted into the bush, followed by the elephants. It took the rangers hours to recapture the antelopes.

ELEPHANTS IN CHARGE  Why did the elephants do this? No one knows for sure. “But we know that elephants have a sense of humor,” says elephant expert William Langbauer of the Pittsburgh Zoo. “They may have just been having fun!”


Text by Lynn Brunelle
Photograph by Robert Hardholt, Dreamstime

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