feet," he exclaimed, "there must be a real monster."
"Let us hide
away here by the lake," I suggested. "Maybe he will come back to drink,
and I could take some films before we start shooting."
We hid the jeep
and ourselves in the dense vegetation near the lake and, keeping absolute
silence, we sat in the shade. The heat was suffocating. Nothing moved around us
except a few birds from the jungle that came down to drink.
But my elephant
did not return. When the light was insufficient for color photography we gave
up waiting and returned to camp.
At 5 a.m. the
next day I was already in the jeep with Mario, Kukuya and Francisco. I wanted
to be at the lake when my elephant came down for his morning drink. When we got
there, a few ducks were swimming in the muddy water. Everything seemed the same
as the day before. The first thing we saw was several recent tracks of
elephants of medium size and also a new track of a rhinoceros. While Mario and
I examined these, Kukuya and Francisco went a few steps ahead, following the
edge of the water. They called to us excitedly.
"He drank at
night! Here is the track of three feet long!"
A SURE PRINT
There it was,
really fresh, only a few hours old—the sure print of the biggest elephant on
My decision was
immediate. We would follow him until we found him.
It was 6:20 a.m.
Kukuya and Francisco went about 50 paces ahead, tracking the spoor with quick
step, while Mario and I followed in the jeep.