Pastor Leo Ranzolin brings us a wonderful report from the SAD Camporee in January 2014.
"Dear friends of the Ministry to our Young People! May the Lord be with you in 2014. Let me share a few thoughts of the largest SAD Camporee, with 35.000 PFs. in attendance and one of the largest in our Church. Jonathan Tejel, our World Leader and I were there, Jan. 7-12 in the city of Barretos, State of S. Paulo site for the International Rodeos in Brazil.
Elephants can weigh up to 13,000 pounds (5,500 kg). Their noses (trunks) can store up a gallon of water, which they squirt in their mouths for a nice swallow of refreshing drink. Their two upper incisors--tusks--have been known to grow to over 20 feet long. An elephant's heart alone weighs 60 lbs (over 27 kg).
We had just finished lunch near a pan and were heading out to new adventures. Pans in African grasslands are large shallow depressions in the landscape that collect water during the rainy season, forming small ponds or lakes. Some are large enough to keep water all year round and serve as drinking sources for lots of different animals during the dry season. That makes a pan a very good place to go and watch for all kinds of animals.
We came to the first "T" on the dusty road, turned left and almost immediately saw Chokwane. He was an elephant, the last of the "Magnificent 7." Later a ranger told us no one ever sees him anymore; he roams the isolated regions of the game park alone and away from all other elephants and humans. He wears a small radio and park staff fear the day the radio stops because poachers found him.
The "Magnificent 7" have for nearly a century been the proud rulers of the animal world of those regions. They survived many a battle and many a hunter's efforts before the region was set aside as a refuge and they were supposedly safe. However, in recent years poachers had managed to kill all but one--Chokwane.