It does feel a little under-done, but while adding more might the reading more enjoyable I think the idea is fully developed. Extra points for style and the fact that I hate HATE ticks (thus I demonizing theme seems like a natural extension for me).
I agree with Manfred and Checka, this is a useful item for a RPG campaign, I hope I remember to use it. You have here in this write up both a spring board for a plot and an interesting item that could offer player both meta game advantages and roleplaying directions.
Rafting is accepted theory for the spread of many species, New World Monkeys for example. Of course in a fantasy realm you take any natural event and turn the volume up to 11. So you get elephants rafting, of course why not make it a huge fantasy animal?
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Why raft? Without natural predators, elephant populations can be very destructive to the ecosystem, a population which thins its number from time may actually prove to be more stable over the long term. Thus the rafting herds would over take the boom crash herds over many years. But you could make up other reasons...