One of the more interesting animals on the planet is the seal-devouring elephant. It is native to Antarctica and very few people have seen one. In fact, so few have been seen (let alone captured on film) that some people (scientists included) doubt their existence. However, being white against a white background makes for excellent camouflage.
Let me shatter sceptical foolishness once and for all: I have seen an entire herd of these seal-devouring elephants (maybe fifty or sixty) descend upon a group of seals and what a mess ensued. There was blood and guts and dislocated flippers and what looked like mermaids’ tails all over the place. After they had eaten they headed off somewhere – sort of south-south-east. It is not particularly easy to have a sense of direction in Antarctica as there is snow in all directions and the sun in summer goes around in circles.
It is believed that these elephants are descended (or evolved) from the woolly mammoths that stalked the wasteland way back. Where they learnt to hunt seals I have no idea.
After a report was published of my having seen a whole herd of them I was approached by a major zoo and asked if I would be part of a team to capture a young pair. The zoo already had polar bears in a special display compound and the polar bears could perhaps share their space with the elephants.
I regretfully turned down their offer. It wouldn’t work. I pointed out that Antarctic Elephants and Polar Bears wouldn’t cohabitate, and that conditions suitable for each are poles apart.