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South Africa: Eager visitors enjoy moments with elephants

Visitors at Adventures with Elephants   -  
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South Africa

A heard of elephants enjoyed their moment in the spotlight on Saturday as they interacted with visitors at a reserve in South Africa on World Elephant Day.

The Adventures with Elephants reserve in Bela Bela marked the special day on Saturday, taking the opportunity to educate a group of eager visitors on the majestic animals as they took turns feeding and patting members of the herd.

With conservation at the top of the reserve's mind staff say they pride themselves on being able to connect ordinary people with elephants through unique interactions so they can get a better understanding of the animal.

"I think everybody, whether you're a zoo, an NGO, a facility like ours, a national park, we all want wildlife in our future and elephants are a huge part of that," Sean Hensman, manager of Adventures with Elephants, said as he stressed the importance of being able to educate people about elephants.

"I think that's the joy of World Elephant Day. We are trying to just spread the message that elephants need a place on this planet."

Rob Leibbrandt, a visitor visitor at Adventures with Elephants described the visit an 'educational experience'. " I think the kids loved it. It's not often you get to touch elephants and actually see them up close. I think it was very, very nice."  

World Elephant Day started in 2012 and takes place annually on August 12. Instantly recognised around the world thanks to their trunks and tusks, elephants are the world's largest land animals. African elephant males are the biggest of the bunch, weighing in at up to 6 tonnes.

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