It seems that Lady’s curiosity is pushing her to expand her circle of comfort just a bit. On a recent evening, she traveled from Yard 5 into the yards closer to the barn around dinnertime. This is pretty unusual for Lady because, once she goes into her favorite spots in Yard 5, she tends to spend a good bit of time there. When she comes back, it is usually at breakfast or because she wants her foot soaks (and the treats that come along with them).
As she walked toward the barn, Mara, Bambi, and Rana were also headed that way for dinner, since, many nights, Mara still enjoys having dinner in the chute. Lady’s instinct most of the time is to head in another direction when those three are approaching or wait as they pass. But, on this day, she pressed on toward the barn anyway. She stayed in a yard neighboring the three, but remained relatively close and seemed quite curious as to what they were doing.
While Mara was in the chute, Drs. Mateus and Trish were doing a periodic check-up on Mara – just to make sure all was going well and to reinforce some training behaviors. Lady appeared to become quite curious about what was happening in the barn. She came close to the divider fence between the yard and the chute, watching as Mateus and Trish were doing Mara’s training. At one point, Lady was standing only about 15 feet (4.5 meters) away from Mara and stayed there for several minutes. The two elephants have shared space with one another in the past and, before Bambi came, Mara was beginning to show curiosity about getting closer to Lady – so they have a positive relationship with each other.
It is nice to see Lady show interest in what the other elephants are doing, particularly when she initiated the interactions herself.. She was not begging for food or attention; she was clearly watching what was going on with Mara.
In the video you can see Mateus and Trish working with Mara as Lady stands nearby, observing closely.