Umngani is one of the elephants at the San Diego Zoo.  She is a beautiful elephant – large, gray and basically wonderful.  Here is the blurb about her on their site:

Umngani (oom-Gah-nee), whose name means “friend” in Siswati, is the mother of Khosi and Ingadze. You will often see her with more than just her two calves. Umngani is sweet natured and seems to love her training sessions, often roaring at the keepers if her session ends too soon.

She is also one of our most photogenic females and seems to pose for pictures. Umngani has the longest tusks in the herd, and her ears are often flared out as if she is listening. As beautiful as she is, though, she is also one of the messiest elephants in the herd. You can tell which keepers have been working with her: they will frequently be spackled with wet mud from her drippy trunk!

Today they were cleaning the pond in the elephant compound – something they do a couple times a week.  They empty all the water out, go in and clean it and then fill the water back up.  What I don’t understand is why they have to do this in the heat of the day when the elephants like to play in the water.  Why aren’t they doing it first thing in the morning like they do with the polar bears?

Anyway, Gani (as I call her) was becoming quite impatient with them today.  She went into the dry pond and started trumpeting loudly at the workers on the other side of the fence.  She paced back and forth, trumpeted some more, and then raised up a little on her hind legs to look at them.  They must have got the message because the water started flowing back into the pond a few minutes ago.  It will take it quite a while to fill though.  However, Gani seems pleased and is standing under the spiggots to cool off.

Gani is almost always fun to watch as she is prone to great antics for the benefit of the babies and herd.  I do so like watching my elephants!!


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