There is a story that we would like to share with you because it is one that we believe will warm the cockles of your heart. It involves a man who risked a lot in order to save two elephants from a life of misery.
Todd Baker Comes Across Two Captive Elephants
Todd Baker is an avid explorer who likes nothing better than traveling to different parts of the world and spending months there learning about the country’s culture and its people. In 2000, he was halfway through a three month stay in South Africa when he came across a farm that had two female elephants chained up.
He was dismayed by what he saw, so he went to locate the farmer to ask what the deal was about the elephants. The farmer told him that he has had these elephants for ten years now and that they are extremely useful around the farm.
Todd told him that surely after ten years of servitude they deserved to be let go so that they can roam around in their natural habitat. Furthermore, as the African elephant population is in severe decline, these two cows could prove crucial to the survival of their species. The farmer agreed, but he was still unwilling to let them go as they helped to make his tough farming life a lot easier.
Todd said that is fine, but that he was going to go and get some wildlife authorities who would come back and order him to let them go. He might even end up in jail because keeping elephants like that is illegal. The farmer, not surprisingly, then got really angry and even threatened to shoot Todd if he didn’t get off his land in ten seconds.
Todd realized that he needed to diffuse the situation quickly, so he came up with a great idea that would give him the chance to win the elephants’ freedom.
His Plan to Set Them Free
As well as being an avid explorer, Todd was quite partial to the odd bit of gambling as well. So, before the farmer went off to get his gun, Todd asked him whether he was a gambling man. Luckily for Todd, he was. Furthermore, it turns out that he also had an old poker set in his house.
Therefore, Todd asked him if he would be willing to play a game of poker. If he won, the elephants would be let free, but if he lost then the elephants would remain there, and he would forget that he ever saw them. He would even give the farmer all the money in his wallet, which was equal to about $1,000. The farmer thought about this for a few minutes, then decided that it was a deal worth taking up.
They went into the farmer’s house and the farmer went to get the poker set. When he returned, they sat down at his table (the farmer even poured him some whiskey) and they started to play. The game lasted for an hour and then Todd (and the elephants) got the lucky break that he was after. He had a Royal Flush, so went all in. The farmer obviously thought he had a good hand, as he also went all in. When the hands were revealed, the farmer had a straight flush. A very good hand, but not better than a royal flush.
Todd had won the elephants’ freedom and the farmer, full credit to him, was willing to honor the deal that they had made. He took Todd outside, opened the gate, unchained the elephants and coerced them out of his property. They looked at Todd, almost as if to say thank you, and started to walk off in the distance.
Where Are the Elephants Now?
The elephants are easily recognizable to rangers as they both have a round scar on their left back foot from where they were shackled. They were accepted into one of the other herds that regularly uses the corridors that the SFE have created. In fact, we are sure that you will be ecstatic to hear that both are mothers now.
Todd’s selflessness is something that we can all learn a lot from.