Two nice animal videos: The most happiest elephant in the world and a lion whisperer

I may have posted this first video before, but I couldn’t find it by searching for “elephant.” At any rate, I don’t have much information except that it purports to show a baby elephant encountering the ocean for the first time. And that seems pretty accurate. It will raise your spirits unless you’re one of those atheists who is terminally morose and nihilistic (more on that tomorrow). And, watching it, can you doubt that this animal is feeling a kind of joy as it splashes and plays about?

Here’s a brave guy, and the information on this video is this:

Animal behaviourist, Kevin Richardson, has struck up a remarkable friendship with an entire pride of lions in South Africa. Sky’s Africa Correspondent Emma Hurd reports.

NOTE: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME (assuming you have lions at home).

h/t: Grania, Blue


  1. Barry Lyons
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    That lion video is absolutely crazy amazing.

    As for the elephant video, yes, I’ve seen that before, and it still makes me smile, the non-nihilist that I am.

  2. Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    That baby elephant was just like my brothers and me on summer holidays by the sea when we were kids!

    That guy with the lions… I am impressed.

  3. Paul S
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    That’s a passing grade in elephant 101: How to sneak up on a wave.

    Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    “the most happy elephant”?

  5. Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I love the way the elephant charges the waves, head down!

    And I’m somehow not at all surprised that lions like bellyrubs as much as housecats do.


  6. Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink


    Do mammals of any age and, particularly, of infant status, initially / ( patho ) physiologically ‘know’ not to swallow ( bucket loads o’ ) salt water ?

    Thank you.

  7. Tim Harris
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    What, by the way, is ‘a kind of joy’? Joy that is not really joy? A joy that is peculiar to elephants? Or peculiar to what goes about on four legs, and so different from the joy felt by human beings? It seems an odd locution.

    • Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for pointing out my awkward locution. Do you really think I need to discourse on how pleasure in elephants may be somewhat different than in humans?

      • Tim Harris
        Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        No, of course, not, but it does seem to me that ‘a kind of joy’ plays somewhat into the hands of those doubters (as to whether animal emotions may properly be called emotions) whom you seem to be, rightly, taking a stand against.

      • Peter Ozzie Jones
        Posted January 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        I take my 2+ year old g’son to our local beach and he will gambol in the breaking surf for as long I dare keep him in the sun.
        So, yes, a “kind of joy” exactly like that baby elephant.

        • Tim Harris
          Posted January 28, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          Why not simply ‘joy’?

          • John Scanlon, FCD
            Posted February 1, 2014 at 5:42 am | Permalink

            ‘Species of joy’ might be most apt (for those who don’t regard pre-C20 English as an unintelligible foreign language), denoting the characteristic appearance, without committing to any unverifiable subjective state in another individual.

  8. Marella
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I can’t see them for some reason, all I’ve got is two black rectangles.

    • stuartcoyle
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Maybe because the videos contained pigs and you are in Malaysia?

    • Peter Ozzie Jones
      Posted January 27, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes on my iPad this happens to me. A cure is to go into the entry (ie off the Home page) and for some reason they will now play with video showing. May just be it gets loaded incorrectly first time?

  9. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Largest bundle of joy ever!

  10. Avis James
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t a lion use to live in the house next to Marty’s??

  11. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I seem to recall that elephant ancestors occupied a semi-aquatic hippo-like niche about 40 million years ago, and then returned to land before evolving into elephants as we know them today. (link)

    So maybe there’s some remnant of that ancestral behavior resurfacing in this watery play? Just speculating.

  12. Posted January 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    The lions and their caretaker were featured in a cable tv show a while back, maybe it was on Animal Planet. He was trying to rustle up funding to help defray the enormous expense of feeding and caring for the lions and other animals that he has rescued. I recall he had a spotted hyena that was adapted into the pride. Seems like a really good guy working for a good cause. You will note he has a white-ish lion. This one was on an old tv show, then retired.
    One thing he showed was that they really like to be rubbed (carefully) deep inside their ears. Tried it on my d*g, and the effect was like catnip (or d*gnip).

  13. gluonspring
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Cool. They’ll probably kill him eventually, if only in over exuberance (my cat wold have killed me by now if it were that size), but cool.

    • Posted January 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Maybe not. That he roughhouses with them to no ill effect is a strong indicator that everybody is well comfortable with all limits.

      Worst case, one of them might see him as a rival, but I’m pretty sure he’s smart enough and experienced enough to know how to react.

      The cats are smart, too. They know he’s fragile, and that he’s one of the pack.

      I’d say what he’s doing is no more dangerous than playing professional contact sports. Yes, there’s risk, enough to warrant reasonable precautions, but not enough worth actually worrying about.


      • Posted January 27, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        Siegfried and Roy. Just sayin’.

        • Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          True, but lots of people get pretty seriously fucked up in pro sports, too — or on construction sites or in factories or just driving the car down to the grocery store. Nothing is without risk, and the risks he’s engaging in don’t seem unreasonable.



  14. marksolock
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

  15. arabiflora
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I found the narrator’s comments re: “interfering with nature” (or some similar phrasing and import) a bit unsettling but not at all surprising, I would guess. It is reminiscent of a long-standing habit among modern humans to view themselves as above or at least distinct from other, far more numerous, portions of the biological world that surrounds us. A shame, that.

  16. Dianne Leonard
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Did you know that elephants can swim, with their trunks held high in the air above the waves? It’s thought that’s how they got from island to island. Maybe this is how the little ones learn to do that. And, yes, baby elephants do play–I think “joy” is the right word.

    • David Duncan
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      I saw elephants migrating from island to island by holding their trunks above the water. An Attenborough film I think. I don’t remember if they were swimming or just walking on the seabed.

    • phein39
      Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      You can see elephants swimming at the St. Louis Zoo, and in the movie “The Fall.”

      In both cases, you get an underwater view. It’s, ‘amusing’ is not the right word but the best I can come up with right now, to see these large animals frolicking in the water.

  17. David Duncan
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the two clips, I could never get used to playing with lions like that. I wonder if that particular pride would tolerate or could learn to tolerate other humans.

  18. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Animal behaviourist, Kevin Richardson, has struck up a remarkable friendship with an entire pride of lions in South Africa.

    something reminds me of the story, attributed IIRC to showman PT Barnum, about the longevity of the “Lion Lies down with the Lamb” display. “Until we run out of lambs.”

  19. Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Oh that little elephant is SO cute. The lions are majestic, but I’d be very very scared.

  20. Jim Thomerson
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Best not to be scared. Interacting with animals works out better if the animal knows you are not scared, and that you mean them no harm. That is a usually, but not always, true generalization.

  21. Posted January 29, 2014 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on π's blog.

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