Baby Elephants Have Sharp Soccer Skills
Kicking things comes naturally to them, says elephant expert Joyce Poole. World Cup prospects? Probably not.
Like most Africans, Kenyans are soccer mad. Kids improvise balls out of plastic bags tied up with string. Any piece of dirt can serve as a pitch.
A new video shot at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage, in Tsavo National Park, shows that World Cup fever is not confined to two-legged creatures.
As elephant caretakers in Wellington boots practice keepie-uppie, the baby elephants move the ball about with their trunks, pass it with their front feet, and tackle each other. One even performs a step-over, dribbling the ball between its legs, a la Cristiano Ronaldo.
So what does this tell us about elephant behavior? Is this intentional play? Or just the random booting of a passing ball?