Eloise, The Elephant, and Her Twins. The New Myth

Eloise and her twins,  Elon Tusk and Emma

Have you heard about Eloise, the 57 year old  Elephant who gave birth to twins in Tanzania?

The moment I heard about her, I got this feeling that there was something special going on.

It’s rare for a 57 year old elephant to have a baby and even more rare for her to have twins that survive.  Her babies, Emma and Elon Tusk, a girl and boy, are 8 months old now and thriving.

Eloise is described as wise and experienced.  She’s the Matriach in a heard of 40 elephants that live the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.  Supposedly it’s one of the safest parks for elephants in Africa.  There are lots of tourists and little poaching.

Eloise is smart enough to get along with the humans in the park and strong enough to protect her herd from other elephants.  She’s has been known to chase away other herds so her elephants can get their fill of food and water.

She is one of the reasons her twins have done so well.

Another reason is the relationship between Emma and Elon Tusk.

Usually the male twin is bigger than the female and has a greater appetite and need for his mother’s milk.  This can often lead to the boy bullying his sister.  The girl twin quickly learns how to deal with this by waiting for her brother to be playing or sleeping or distracted in some way before she nurses.

I was struck, when I read this, at how much it can  resemble the relationship between male and female humans.  How traditionally  the man can use his strength to get his way and the female has to be more cunning.

But there is a different dynamic between Emma and Elon Tusk.  Emma’s brother has never shown any aggression towards his sister, even when nursing.

I wanted to cry when I heard this.

In Eloise and her twins, I saw a symbol, of the possibility, of the changes between men and women that are going on in our society today.

The old, wise and fertile Eloise, the powerful Matriach.  And the gentle and generous Elon Tusk.

In them I see a symbol of hope for the future.

A future where power is balanced between men and women.  And the matriarch is revered for her wisdom and experience over the aggression  of men.   Where men no longer have the need or feel it’s their right  to bully and dominate.

There’s  also a balance between humans and nature in their story.   Of finding places and ways for us to coexist without being destructive.

Maybe I’m reading into it too much.

After all there are many matriarchs in the Elephant world. And I imagine Elon Tusk isn’t the first brother not to bully his sister.  But there are so many different elements coming together in this story, that it seems to hold the truth of a myth.

As if everyone and everything surrounding Eloise and her twins is conspiring to create their successful story and make it known to the rest of us.

Well I’ve heard it.

And it’s inspiring me to come up with  different ways to tell their story with my art.  I don’t think it’s one that should be forgotten.

You can read more about Eloise, Emma and Elon Tusk here. 


3 thoughts on “Eloise, The Elephant, and Her Twins. The New Myth

  1. I think you’re right, Maria. The story of Eloise and her twins inspires hope that human men & women could live in peace. The symbolism is strong: A place where men no longer feel the need or believe they have the right to bully and dominate. Annie

  2. I enjoyed this story of Eloise and her twins. It is a beautiful story of how Eloise and her herd allowed her to have her babies and they survived. I am not so sure if the part of the male twin allowing his sister to feed and not be dominate. So who was the first born or they really don’t know since Elosie had her babies away. Although, this is a very heart felt story of the care givers and the elephants. Just the fact that the older elephant was capable of giving birth to twins is astonishing.

  3. I didn’t know what the fertile years for elephants were. I am happy for Eloise and her twins and that They are all healthy. Keep track of them so they don’t have any harm to come to them or any other elephants.

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