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The life lessons I learned from a mammoth in Dorkovo

You think you know it all until one day you go for a SPA retreat in the healing mineral waters of Velingrad and decide to visit the Pliocene park in Dorkovo to see a real-size mammoth!

Although the experience sounds quite touristy, to me this appeared to be more than that. Here are the lessons that stuck with me after seeing the mastodont.

Imagination is not enough

Mammoths were HUGE! Even I can’t explain it with words – you have got to go and see it with your eyes. It’s one thing to hear about the size of an animal from the past and a completely different story to stand next to one. Especially when you look at the actual remains of tusks found in Dorkovo. Imagination is hardly enough to grasp the strength of bone structure necessary to support those!

Drop the ego, we’re insignificant

It always entertains me when people think they’re invincible. The human body is so weak and fragile… You understand this wonderfully when you stand next to a mammoth. Just consider the fact that there are no mammoths anymore – if nature decides to get rid of us, there’s nothing we can do but surrender.

Things change. If you don’t adapt, you die

I was stunned by the story of the mammoths, whose bones were found near Dorkovo. Apparently, the flora and landscape of the area were very different (back 5 million years ago) and there was a large river supplying water to all living species. Unfortunately, a rise in temperature dried up the river. For some unknown reason, the mammoths did not relocate. Instead, they remained where they were until they all died. Put in simple words, mammoths refused to adapt and find a new water source some place else.

If you have legs, you can move – the risk of staying, when things are wrong, is bigger than the risk of the unknown.

A while ago I read the line “If you don’t like where you are, get up and leave – you’re not a tree”. When I heard the story of the mammoths, it came back in flashes: probably they didn’t like running out of water, yet did nothing about it. And so the results are evident… But what about us, people? Some stay in a town or a village they despise. Others remain in abusive relationships. There are so many examples of people settling for things that make them feel miserable on daily basis. And while hoping that the situation will change they get used to various forms of abuse, either physical or mental. So really, we’re losing more by settling than we would lose by risking. If this makes any sense…

Now, on the touristy side of the Pliocene park in Dorkovo

Of course I recommend you visit it and see what a mammoth looks like. The park is open every day from 10:00 until 17:00 and the entrance fee is 5 leva for grown-ups and 3 leva for kids. If you’re in the area on Monday, there is no entrance fee!

Here are some link:

  • Facebook page [link]
  • Google Maps [link]

By Nina Alexander

Nina is the big sister. She's a marketing professional by day, traveler by heart, tech geek, bookworm, beer lover and an amateur photographer. Her motto is Friedrich Nietzsche's famous quote "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

2 replies on “The life lessons I learned from a mammoth in Dorkovo”

Sisters, these enormous animals really thought us a valuable lesson – stubbornness does not always lead to good results!

Yet, we, humans, also seem to persist doing that as you have elaborately explained.

Thanks for this thought-provoking article and the lesson in prehistory! 🙂

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