The other day all three ladies ended up together in the middle of a rainstorm. Many times a big downpour is just an excuse to get very silly. Play in the rain is rarely gentle, it involves head rubbing, butt scratching, and sometimes a little pushing and back leg kicks. There is an FB video from two years ago that shows Maia and Guida playing in the rain after they first arrived and the entire session is less than gentle, but they loved it.
This time around with Maia, Guida, and Rana was no different. The three ladies would alternate between silly, push and rest. Any time Scott would start to record, the girls would get quiet (it seems to be a thing with elephants.) Besides the girls coming together and staying together for play, there are a couple of items of note. What we saw during the storm was the most affectionate we have seen the girls be with each other, although not on the video, there was a lot of rubbing and scratching on each other, along with touching. The play never became too rough, which can be of a concern, especially when you know that Rana has the ability to go over that edge as well (Rana, Rana dance party.) It seems she remains aware enough to keep herself somewhat grounded.
You also get to see Rana’s blaring trumpet response to Maia going down on her front end. This noise is the same one she lets out if either Maia or Guida try and lie down in front of her during the day. They don’t have to be within touching distance of each other for Rana to have this response. It is a behavior we may never fully understand.
Our maintenance staff happened to be working at the barn, and when the girls came closer, they were able to watch as well as our caregivers. Quite genuinely one of the guys asked if it was playing or fighting. Elephants are large and noisy and when they roughhouse it can be a little intimidating. But it’s also funny when they are all settled, and Maia can’t help but start things up all over again with a donkey kick. We stay and watch to keep an eye on things, but the reality is, all three of them enjoyed themselves.
Later on, when it stopped raining, and the girls went to walk away, Maia headed out, and as Guida went to leave, she came back to Rana and nudged her in their direction. And Rana and her cheesy grin went and walked off with the two.
January 17, 2019