Changing scenery: An untimely update

Hi again.

It’s been over four months since my last update. An unexpected whirlwind of change hit my life just a few weeks after I last wrote here, affecting so many others in even more profound, serious, life-changing ways.

On April 21—Easter Sunday—a series of terrorist attacks unfolded in Sri Lanka.

Most of you are/were aware of this news even if you’ve now forgotten the details. I still get a few surprised looks from folks with whom I share my story, evidence of the seemingling neverending list of volatile events that we hear about nowadays. Many others have written about the attacks more eloquently and authentically than I can, but long-story-short, I’m okay. Everyone who worked on our project is okay. And the island seems to be recovering now. None of this erases what happens, and one reason I’ve waited so long to provide an update is out of respect to those who were impacted in much more terrible ways than I was. The other reasons I’ve been putting off this update have to do with my emotions surrounding these events: sadness, frustration, bewilderment.

Along with the other Fulbrighters conducting work in Sri Lanka, I was evacuated from the island in May. More accurately though, I never got to return after having left Sri Lanka in late April for a trip to Thailand. I received the first news of the bombings as I was walking among a group of elephants at a tourist camp, surprised but convinced that the incidents would be rather isolated in their impacts on Sri Lankan daily life. But the numbers of people injured or killed by the bombs kept rising as I checked back every hour. Very quickly, all social media activity was prohibited and it was difficult to get an accurate idea of what was happening. Even though I was off the island, I received the same instructions that my fellow Fulbrighters were getting: stay inside, be vigilant, don’t bring attention to yourself. I was scheduled to fly back to Sri Lanka in five days, sure that everything would calm down by then.

But in the quiet chaos that followed, no one seemed to know what was going on. A week passed: social media was still down, strict curfews were in effect, and all Fulbrighters were still inside. My flight back to Colombo was indefinitely postponed as I monitored the situation in a hotel room in Bangkok. Three or four days after I was supposed to have returned to Sri Lanka, I got the official word: I wasn’t going to be returning to the island. Fulbright quickly purchased a series of flights from Bangkok back to Dallas as they simultaneously organized the more immediate evacuation of Fulbrighters still in Sri Lanka. Within a week of that phone call, there would be no Fulbright scholars left in Sri Lanka. Our elephant research was immediately put on hold as our plans were completely derailed.

My arrival back in the US was not the sort of triumphant homecoming I had been envisioning for months. I was still in a daze as I walked through the airport, collecting the single suitcase I had packed for a 10-day trip to Thailand from the baggage carousel. It took me almost three weeks to overcome the jet lag as I woke up habitually at 2:00am only to fall back asleep at 10:00am, trying to be a functioning person after waking up from a nap around noon. I took this as a subconscious signal that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. My mind and heart were still in Sri Lanka, worried about everyone I had met during my six months on the island and concerned about the direction of the work that will ultimately help me earn my PhD.

What helped me get out of this haze was to keep moving. Within three-and-a-half weeks of being back in the US, I flew to Mexico with family to go SCUBA diving (a long-forgotten hobby of mine). I needed to go to a place that had no elephants and where I could forget about everything. Three days after Mexico, I went to Colorado to see my sister and dog, sources of happiness that I’ve always appreciated. And one week after that, I resumed our research at US zoos. I fell back into being a nomad, surviving off the small collection of clothing I brought back from Thailand—all of my stuff was still back in Sri Lanka because I was not allowed to return from Thailand to retrieve it (this whole story was detailed here by Anne Reynolds at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences [CHSS] at George Mason University). And since then, I’ve visited five different zoos across the country for at least one week each, roadtripping from Colorado (again), Ohio, and New York. And next week, I drive back to Virginia to resume teaching at Mason for the fall semester. Maybe the changing scenery has been a distraction to help cope with the unexpected challenges. But all the travel time has also been an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts.

Today would have been the day I would’ve returned to the US if I had been able to carry out the full term of my Fulbright grant. Lately, I’ve been wondering how I would’ve finished my last three months in Sri Lanka. I like to think that the relationships I’ve built with folks back on the island would be even stronger. Maybe I would have more exciting, goofy stories to share about fieldwork. I hope I would’ve had profound revelations about how the world works and what this means for the conservation of elephants and other species. But maybe none of that could or would have happened and I should just be happy that I’m safe. I can’t help but feel a little angry about the whole thing though.

We plan for me to return to Sri Lanka next May for the summer to finish data collection on elephants in Kaudulla and Minneriya National Parks. For reasons that are still unclear to me, Fulbright will be unable to fund the remaining fieldwork, so we’ll need to find other ways to pay for that. I finally received my personal belongings that remained when I left for Thailand, but all of our research equipment and samples are still in Sri Lanka. Hopefully we can get all of that back safely by the end of the year. Our anticipated research timeline is being stretched longer than we planned, but we should be able to achieve the objectives we set out for ourselves. Our funding sources have been incredibly understanding and accommodating given the circumstances.

On a more personal level, I need to go back to Sri Lanka to see the people and elephants again and finish what I started. More and more, it’s where I feel like I’m supposed to be. I began my time in Sri Lanka trying to embrace the notions of serendipity and adaptability. I got used to being out of touch with friends and family back home, the loneliness that followed that, and then the weird sense of freedom that daily life on the island provided. It’s not that I resent the expectations of a productive member of society here in the US (or that these are significantly different from anywhere else in the world), nor do I think I represent the archetype of some sort of unbridled adventurer that can’t stoop to the monotonous life of the typical citizen. It’s that I willingly or unwillingly adapted my lifestyle to fit my environment. So appropriately, I’ve fallen back to the relatively trivial minutiae of answering emails, writing manuscripts and grant proposals, and preparing for classes. These activities make my time in Sri Lanka seem like it happened to a wholly different person, like the photos I took came from a travel website and not my own camera. But I’m the same person, just on a different part of the same winding path I’ve been on all along. That sounds like a phrase you’d find inside of a cheap bereavement card, but I guess I’m in a sappy, reflective mood as I write this.

My time since Sri Lanka has been a three-month-long forced meditation session, a practice that normally prompts an eye-roll from me, a person who likes to be grounded in the more tangible world. My life on the island and the setbacks that followed have helped me identify the people and things that matter to me personally. More importantly, this reflection has helped put my work and life in a bigger perspective. This experience and those of others help to form a larger, unfolding story, one that is all at once some combination of unpredictable, heartwarming, confusing, inspiring, and ultimately worthwhile. It is all we have.

So that’s my update for those that hoped or insisted I provide a follow-up. Our work isn’t finished, but it’s been put on hold. I continue to appreciate the people who support me on a personal level, and I try to bury myself in other work so that this hiatus isn’t completely in vain. I’ll continue to write here as things develop, but these posts will almost certainly be less frequent than those I provided during fieldwork. Keep the people and elephants of Sri Lanka in mind as they prove to be resilient and optimistic, eager to show the rest of the world that they stand against the ideas and actions that have recently brought them to the world’s attention.

Oh, and on an unrelated note, today (August 12) is World Elephant Day. Go appreciate some elephants to celebrate. And if you can, support my favorite groups that work to help elephants: the International Elephant Foundation and Asian Elephant Support.

Until next time—

Looking back on my time in elephant land

It’s as hot as ever here. I feel like I’m sweating gallons a day—even in the shade with a breeze—and I now intimately understand the warnings everyone in Colombo gave me way back in November: “do you know it’s hot where you’re going?” Even writing this back at Rajarata where I have regular access to air-conditioning, daily power blackouts make me question my sanity. And I’ve been covered in mosquito bites for the past several weeks, though I feel like I’ve gotten better at swatting down annoying insects with the deftness of a merciless ninja. In the evermore challenging environment, the elephants have also been hit-or-miss. We’ve had some of our most exciting elephant encounters during this trip (read more below), but days in a row of low sighting rates can be discouraging. And through all of this, I find myself adapting—maybe thriving—through it all.

This was our last trip to Wasgamuwa for fieldwork. Since December, we’ve come to memorize the park’s winding roads just as you get to know the hallways and shortcuts in a more typical workplace. Park officials have come to know us and our work (even with a big staff turnover a few months ago), and they no longer give me a sideways look when I indicate I should pay the local rate to enter the park. And of course what I’ll miss the most is the elephants we’ve come to know, some since our first week of observations back in December Those are the really special ones, as it seems that most male elephants seem to only spend a week or two in the park before moving on to find greener grass somewhere else.

One of the days during this past trip, our tracker Dhanushka greeted us at the park and told us that he had seen two adult tuskers in the morning. I’ll be honest, I didn’t believe him. Tuskers are rare in Sri Lanka for reasons I’ve explained previously, and we had only seen one in Wasgamuwa (way back in December) and he had been less than 10 years old, too young to be included in our dataset. But then Dhanushka showed us photos and my jaw dropped. I hurried everyone into the vehicle and we set out to find them. Sure enough, we found both tuskers that day: one between 20 and 30 years old, and another between 10 and 15 years old. Sachintha was especially excited with our findings, as he had been asking about tuskers for months. But just as mysteriously as they appeared, they vanished. After two days, we never spotted them again.

The most impressive of any tuskers that we’ve seen in Wasgamuwa, and he only has one tusk (his right tusk is missing). It’s not the best photo, but we never could get close enough for a good one. 26 March 2019, Wasgamuwa National Park.

The most impressive of any tuskers that we’ve seen in Wasgamuwa, and he only has one tusk (his right tusk is missing). It’s not the best photo, but we never could get close enough for a good one. 26 March 2019, Wasgamuwa National Park.

The other tusker we saw that day. Much younger, but with impressive tusks still. 26 March 2019, Wasgamuwa National Park.

The other tusker we saw that day. Much younger, but with impressive tusks still. 26 March 2019, Wasgamuwa National Park.

And we’re used to only spotting elephants briefly before they move on from Wasgamuwa. In a relatively small, enclosed park, it’s difficult to remember that these elephants are animals that move around a lot, and sometimes the resources outside the park are much more attractive than the safety the park provides. This, of course, is why human−elephant conflict is so prevalent and why we don’t see elephants jam-packed into the parks. These are big animals that, in unmanaged conditions, require a lot of room to acquire the resources they need. From inside our vehicle, they sometimes seem like little pawns or gamepieces, animate objects that are there for us to find as they move in and out of the forest. But as obvious as it may seem, it’s important to realize that these animals exist outside the operating hours of the park and that they have real-life, 24/7 impacts on the environments where they live. We’re reminded of this whenever a lot of commotion happens, interrupting the usual tranquility of watching elephants. These moments usually happen in the evenings when female groups congregate, and one female gets startled by something (usually, we can’t identify the source of the fright). When a female sends an alarm call, all the nearby females rush over to touch and smell each other, with a few usually urinating in the process. It’s a sight to see, and it’s an important reminder of the physical power these animals possess. Here’s a video of one of these memorable encounters. I highly recommend watching with your device’s sound on:

Wasgamuwa National Park, 25 March 2019
Riding around in our vehicle often gives us the sense that the elephants are smaller than they actually are. This photo with Nimal holding up a stick shows just how tall they actually are (the end of the stick is marked with the red arrow). How do we know this? Many of the trees in Wasgamuwa are conspicuously marked with mud on one side; this is where an elephant has rubbed its muddy covering off on the tree. Nimal is showing where the mud on this tree reaches, meaning this is just a minimum height for this itchy elephant. It’s hard to tell, but it’s likely that this elephant would be tall enough for Nimal to walk underneath its chin, without Nimal having to crouch.

Riding around in our vehicle often gives us the sense that the elephants are smaller than they actually are. This photo with Nimal holding up a stick shows just how tall they actually are (the end of the stick is marked with the red arrow). How do we know this? Many of the trees in Wasgamuwa are conspicuously marked with mud on one side; this is where an elephant has rubbed its muddy covering off on the tree. Nimal is showing where the mud on this tree reaches, meaning this is just a minimum height for this itchy elephant. It’s hard to tell, but it’s likely that this elephant would be tall enough for Nimal to walk underneath its chin, without Nimal having to crouch.

We also saw our first official leopard during this last trip. (I say official because it was the first one that everyone in our vehicle saw. I’d like to believe that I saw a leopard in the forest a few weeks ago, but I’m thinking more and more that it was actually a deer…). But don’t get excited, I don’t have a photo. The sighting happened in a few seconds as the leopard moved deeper in a forest patch. It wasn’t exactly the first leopard that Sachintha or I envisioned, but at least we didn’t leave Wasgamuwa without seeing one. What I could have lived with is not seeing another python. But guess what? We saw one crossing the road. Like our last python sighting, we never saw its head, making the experience even creepier.

Wasgamuwa National Park, 23 March 2019

Our last day in Wasgamuwa was bittersweet, sort of like the last day of high school. I looked around the bungalow after I packed up all of the equipment and my personal belongings, at the same proud of our accomplishments and wondering how we made it. We exchanged last-minute selfies with members of the Premasiri family, promising we’d see each other again soon. I secretly wished Monica would slip me some last-minute roti and curry, my favorite dish that she made for us frequently (okay, maybe that part wasn’t like high school). Moksha, Nimal and Monica’s youngest child and only daughter, was sobbing when we left, apparently distraught that the two guys who store elephant poop in the freezer were leaving. A few days before leaving, we rented a bungalow in the park as a way to thank the Premasiris; everyone was invited to spend the night along the river. Monica, Nimesh, and Moksha never really go into the park, so it was a treat to see what their father and older brother do each day. We had a barbecue that night, eating chicken, sausages (which were really just chicken hot dogs), and sliced bread, and it was delicious. It was nice to wake up that morning and drive back to our own bungalow, spotting elephants along the way.

Siblings Moksha and Nimesh by the river where we stayed in the Wasgamuwa bungalow.

Siblings Moksha and Nimesh by the river where we stayed in the Wasgamuwa bungalow.

Way back in December when I was first searching for a place to live near Wasgamuwa, I did not choose to live with a family. In fact, we even visited a few homestays that I immediately rejected. I didn’t know the bungalow we ended up choosing would also be inhabited by the Premasiri family, and to be honest, I might not have chosen it if I did know. Being so far from what was familiar to me, I was content to have a sort of private space where I could recharge each day after being out in the park.

But I couldn’t be happier that Sachintha and I got to spend almost four months with the Premasiris, and it gave me a different perspective on conservation. The field of conservation biology doesn’t occur in a vacuum, which is easy to forget when you’re worried about collecting data and then watching those data transform to numbers on a computer screen. But families like the Premasiris around Wasgamuwa want everything out of life like all of us. While we were at the bungalow, we saw Nirosh being a normal 21-year-old watching TV while trying his best with the ladies on his cell phone, Nimesh was studying hard for his end-of-year exams that would determine if he went to college, Moksha practiced her dance lessons in the kitchen while her mother Monica cooked dinner, and Nimal was beaming when he told Sachintha and me that Moksha had won her dance competition. If we want to save and protect wildlife around the world, we’ll need to find pragmatic solutions that keep people like the Premasiris in mind. For elephants, that means finding creative ways to sustainably connect elephants with the human communities that live around them.

Soon, we’ll be moving to continue our research in Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks. It’s quite possible that we’ll encounter a few of our Wasgamuwa elephants there, and I look forward to better understanding the difference between the parks in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’m back at Rajarata processing fecal samples and catching up on other work, remembering the elephants (and people) that I now miss.

The sunset driving out of Wasgamuwa on our last day of following elephants. 1 Apr 2019, Wasgamuwa National Park.

The sunset driving out of Wasgamuwa on our last day of following elephants. 1 Apr 2019, Wasgamuwa National Park.

The scoop on (elephant) poop

My daily life here in Sri Lanka is becoming less deliberate and more routine. I regularly count the frogs that have joined me in the shower, I have a go-to soundtrack that I listen to on the drives from Rajarata to Wasgamuwa and back, and I depend on the nearby chants of the Buddhist monks to act as an alarm clock (I wish those wake-up calls weren’t at 4:45am each morning, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers…). The temperatures outside have quickly risen, and these routines help me cope with the heat. The heat also makes the whole no-hot-water situation easier to deal with too. With the transition from the wet to the dry season, the rains have also mostly subsided, although that hasn’t seemed to have an effect on the humidity levels.

The dryer heat alters the daily movement patterns of the elephants too. We’ve noticed that elephants are almost impossible to spot before 2:00pm now, even in the morning when it’s relatively cool. We think they’re spending the heat of the day under tree cover in the forest where we can’t see them. The vegetation is so thick that most times after moving just a few meters into the forest, we completely lose an elephant. (On a related note, we’ve also noticed that elephants seem much more wary of the vehicle and more apt to move into the forest when approach, a possible result of the recent crop-raiding that has occurred.) So as we’re driving through the park, I’m sure that there are tons of elephants (…literally) that we’re missing just a little bit off the road. We sometimes hear their trumpets and rumbles, but if we can’t see them, there’s not much we can do. Decreased elephant visibility at Wasgamuwa and lowering floodplains in other parts of the island are signs that it’s about time to move to another fieldsite and meet some new elephants. Hopefully we see some old “friends” too.

Encounters with elephants out in the open are increasingly rare with the high temperatures. Male 012, 12 March 2019, Wasgamuwa National Park.

Encounters with elephants out in the open are increasingly rare with the high temperatures. Male 012, 12 March 2019, Wasgamuwa National Park.

So I’ll cherish our last few weeks in Wasgamuwa, a place that I’ll always remember as being my first “real” start to fieldwork on my own. I’ll admit it: the adjustment to rugged field conditions was tough to me, as I think they would be to most millennials who suddenly find themselves without reliable internet for weeks at a time. But since then, I’ve embraced the experience and I now enjoy being able to put off emails and other responsibilities that rely on being tied to a computer (the catching up with all that stuff at the other end of the trip is another story though). I’m fortunate to surround myself with friends, family, and colleagues who are patient enough to deal with all of this, on top of my propensity to keep to myself even when I have no other excuse.


Despite the wane in elephant activity around Wasgamuwa over the past month, there remains one fact in life: everyone poops. And in fact, even when it’s hot outside, elephants will poop, and that fact is evident as we drive around the park. In the areas that they frequent, elephant poop is ubiquitous, and it’s important for proper functioning of the ecosystem. Wild adult elephants are estimated to produce over 100 pounds of poop each day, and because they are rather poor at digesting their food, all of this dung returns vital nutrients back to their enviornment. Whole populations of insects and other invertebrates depend on elephant dung, including some species of the infamous dung beetles in Africa, who lay their eggs in the stuff.

I’m especially proud of this photo I got at a zoo a few months before I left for Sri Lanka. I’ve concealed the elephant’s identity for his own modesty. And yes, I got strange looks from the zoo visitors who were around me.

I’m especially proud of this photo I got at a zoo a few months before I left for Sri Lanka. I’ve concealed the elephant’s identity for his own modesty. And yes, I got strange looks from the zoo visitors who were around me.

And most of my friends and family know of my fondness for (elephant) feces. And this penchant for poop isn’t due just to it’s environmental importance, nor is it a result of all of the practical uses people have found for it (for those who are curious, you can use elephant dung to make paper products and generate energy, among other things). But it’s what scientists can do with elephant poop (and poop from other species, for that matter) that really sealed the deal for me. We can learn about an animal’s life from its poop, including its diet, genetic composition, microbiome, and other things. For our project, we’re interested in measuring hormones, the body’s chemical messengers that are important regulators of behavior, helping an animal cope with its environment. And yes, we can measure hormone metabolites in elephant poop (side note: we’re measuring the metabolites, not the hormones themselves, because like many other molecules in our body, hormones get broken down so that they don’t have longlasting effects).

I’ve shared this enthusiasm for elephant excrement with Sachintha and the rest of our field team too (poop pride is infectious, I guess, but in a good way). Any day that we get a fecal sample, we blast celebratory music from my phone as we leave the park for the bungalow. Recently, it’s been Queen’s greatest hits (both Sachintha and I watched Bohemian Rhapsody recently…we highly recommend it). So far, we’ve collected 29 fecal samples at Wasgamuwa, with everyone in the vehicle emitting silent cheers and exchanging excited looks whenever we see an elephant do his business. 29 samples may not seem like a lot for almost three months of work, but the stars have to align for us to collect a sample. First, for our project, the elephant has to be male and over ten years old, and we have to see the elephant poop himself—there are critical things we need to know about the pooper for our project (including age, body condition, and musth status), so we pass so many dung piles in the park that it crushes me to do so. Musth males also seem to poop less often, as they appear to be eating less during the day. Next, the act has to have been done in a place that we can get to it safely. That means poops in lakes or ponds are a no-go (the water would ruin the sample anyway), as are poops deep in the forest (it’s difficult to see or hear nearby elephants, and our escape routes are severely limited in the trees). And the elephants have to move away from the poop so that we can get it. Sometimes this is relatively easy, and other times we mark the GPS location of the poop and come back later (although we only have a six- to eight-hour window to do this…coming back the next day is not an option). And if we can have all these factors go in our favor, we can get a sample. We’re safe as we can be when we exit the vehicle, having special permission from Department of Wildlife Conservation officials to do so and having a park tracker with us at all times. But the work has its inherent dangers—recently we got within 10 m of a crocodile (don’t worry Mom, this species hasn’t ever killed a human), and I can’t seem to forget the giant python we saw on the side of the road last month in the park. The open plains can be deceptive too. On our last trip, we trekked through a seemingly flat plain over 150 m to get a sample, not realizing the field was a metaphorical and literal minefield of ditches created by large groups of elephants walking through mud. The short excursion resulted in me falling on my butt in the mud, our driver laughing as he navigated the landscape easily in a sarong and flip-flops.

Nimal and I after our trek through the elephant-print minefield. Not pictured: my butt covered in mud from my fall.

Nimal and I after our trek through the elephant-print minefield. Not pictured: my butt covered in mud from my fall.

Look how happy our poop team is! Last week, we collected an unprecedented   four   samples in one day. From L to R: Sachintha, Dhanushka, Nimal (who may not be excited, but is instead questioning his life decisions that led him to hold a piece of elephant dung in his hand), and me.

Look how happy our poop team is! Last week, we collected an unprecedented four samples in one day. From L to R: Sachintha, Dhanushka, Nimal (who may not be excited, but is instead questioning his life decisions that led him to hold a piece of elephant dung in his hand), and me.

And the story doesn’t end with collecting the poop on the ground, as there hasn’t yet been an invention of an easy-to-use hormone gauge that you can stick into a piece of poop to know the concentration of testosterone in that sample. For long-term storage in the field, samples have to be kept frozen, which means I had to buy a freezer for our samples (just imagine the looks I got when I told Nimal that this freezer was just for poop). Power outages are relatively common and unpredictable, and with too many thawings the hormone metabolites in the poop degrades, so we keep bags of ice around the samples at all times, even when they’re in the freezer. On the day we drive back to Rajarata each trip, I pack a cooler with the fecal samples, never having told our driver what’s in the cooler (I keep it in the back of the van in case he asks for a drink from it). The samples are then put in a freezer in my kitchen until they’re processed. This has been a hallmark of my kitchen freezers over the past few years…you never know when you reach in whether you’ll get a bag full of elephant poop or a frozen breakfast sandwich.

Recently, we found a grain of rice in one of the fecal samples we collected (that’s what the red arrow is pointing to). This is evidence that this elephant exited the park to forage on crops from nearby farmers.

Recently, we found a grain of rice in one of the fecal samples we collected (that’s what the red arrow is pointing to). This is evidence that this elephant exited the park to forage on crops from nearby farmers.

And then the elaborate processing step begins. For five or six days, the samples are “baked” in individual paper bags at a low temperature (about 130ºF). Don’t worry, I don’t use my own kitchen oven for this…they make lab ovens for things like this. After the samples are sufficiently dried and there’s no more water left, each of the samples is ground into a fine powder using a sifter or coffee grinder (I’ve realized there’s a lot of kitchen−lab overlap after writing this…I’m always careful with labeling my equipment). This step helps remove any of the vegetation that’s in the dung, while increasing the surface area for the extraction step. During grinding, I have to be careful to wear a mask so that I don’t inhale dung dust. Despite the protective equipment, I still seem to develop a persistent cough shortly after grinding samples. I try not to think about it too much.

After carefully weighing each sample—now sufficiently pulverized into a powder—and putting it in a test tube, we add methanol to each sample and spin the tubes in a centrifuge for about 15 min. The hormone metabolites are drawn to the methanol near the top of the tube and all of the solid material collects at the bottom of the tube. We separate the liquid part from the solid in another tube, and voilà, we have fecal extract that we can analyze for hormone metabolites using a process called enzyme immunoassay (I’ll save that process for another post).

And so that’s from where my poop passion stems; it’s not some weird quirk, but an appreciation for the utility of the stuff. So next time you see an elephant poop (or any other animal, for that matter), don’t think “gross,” but instead, “science!”

Here’s a photo of a baby elephant. You earned it for putting up with the turd talk  (okay, last poop alliteration, I swear) . Wasgamuwa National Park, 20 Jan 2019.

Here’s a photo of a baby elephant. You earned it for putting up with the turd talk (okay, last poop alliteration, I swear). Wasgamuwa National Park, 20 Jan 2019.