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A Remarkable Encounter for Lady and Mara

Lady

We have recently begun working with a holistic vet who has a practice a few hours away. She does homeopathy, ozone therapy, acupuncture, and other modalities. She’s going to come regularly – at least every other week, sometimes more frequently. This will offer another in-person layer of care for the elephants and we are excited to work with her.

Mara was in the chute for an exam with her earlier this week (there is still no diagnosis or change in her condition) when Lady walked up to the barn. She approached with the confidence of an elephant who wanted to go in the chute and have her daily foot soak. Our bars are relatively large, and, sometimes, it’s hard to see what’s behind them from certain angles.

We weren’t sure if she saw Mara in the chute due to the intention in Lady’s stride. We verbally told her that Mara was in the chute. Lady continued to approach, close to Mara before she clearly became aware of Mara’s presence. The two were within touching distance (if they both reached out their trunks).

Lady did well with her proximity to Mara. She didn’t step away once she realized Mara was there. She hung out for about ten minutes. They were head to head, and it was apparent they each knew the other was there. Since Mara was in the chute, we had a bucket of treats, which we shared with Lady. In all her finicky food feelings, Mara had decided that she didn’t like cabbage that day, and cabbage is one of Lady’s favorite foods. Lady was thrilled to hang out very close to Mara and enjoy all of Mara’s rejected cabbage. We used reassuring tones to make sure Lady knew how brave she was and how proud we were. Mara reached out several times, and, each time she reached out, Lady would become a little nervous, but she would stay. The two didn’t touch, and after about ten minutes, Lady walked away. She didn’t walk quickly; it seemed she decided she was done, and she meandered away at her own pace. She walked off to the trough for a drink and then came back over – not once, but twice!

Lady has been slowly showing more interest in the others over the past few months. In the past few weeks, she has been particularly interested in Mara. We have no way of knowing why or what has shifted, but it is something we have observed. Rana was in Stall 1 during this encounter (which is also very near). However, as Rana is very food-oriented and was happily eating, she didn’t pay any attention to Mara or Lady.

It was a very remarkable encounter between Mara & Lady, and we are very proud of them both.

Photo of Lady, enjoying a meal in the habitat.

November 12, 2020

Comments(21)

  1. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    It will be amazing when Lady decides to reach out touch Mara. So exciting to see how far she has come.

  2. REPLY
    Sherry says

    I love the elephants and enjoy hearing and learning about their adventures around the sanctuary everyday.
    Thank you, sanctuary.😊🐘

  3. REPLY
    Sue says

    Our Little Lady has such a Big Brave Heart!! So proud of her and Mara! I hope to see her interest continue and maybe one day we will see her exchange a touch with a friend 😁 The new holistic vet sounds like a wonderful addition to Sanctuary and hoping she can bring some peace and relief to all who need it! ❤️🐘❤️🐘❤️🐘❤️🐘❤️🐘❤️🐘🐘🐘🐘

  4. REPLY
    Laura Barber says

    This is just too exciting! Thank you for sharing this encounter.

  5. REPLY
    Wim says

    How wonderful Elephant life never stops amazing. Very interesting developments for the ladies. Time heals every distance there must be magic in the air.🙏🐘🐘🙏

  6. REPLY
    Rachel says

    Thank you for this heartwarming update on Lady’s socializing progress. I’m cheering for her…

  7. REPLY
    Jillyp says

    What wonderful news. Lady has come such a long way. She must observe the others an awful lot from a distance which perhaps all adds to her healing although, do you think she may have approached Mara before out of human sight? It’s so exciting she is becoming comfortable with Mara and happy to be so close. Also great news about the holistic treatment 🌾🍂🐘🐘💫💜

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      It’s possible. We have seen them about 20 yards from each other when they have been together in yard 4. But we definitely don’t see what goes on every moment of the day. 🙂

  8. REPLY
    Dianna says

    What fabulous news that Lady is gaining so much more confidence and she was brave enough to come up to Mara. It’s so heartwarming to think of her doing this

  9. REPLY
    Carrie vornkahl says

    Congrats on being so brave Lady! You can do it, you will do it, in your own time!!!

  10. REPLY
    FRANCINE FORD says

    How exciting for you ALL; both hooman & Ellie!! Breakthrough! Way to go Ms Lady bug! Baby steps are the name of the game. And in the end you all WIN. I’m beyond emotional reading this blog entry! I am a Reiki Master/Healer & ❤❤❤working on animals as well as hoomans. And I have had many mind BEAUTIFUL experiences; the last one was a cat. He’s since crossed the bridge; our connection is something I will never forget. And so it is with you & your Golden Girls. I’m so glad you share things like this with us all. In doing so we can all be a part of your journeys. A million thank yous!
    🐘❤🐘❤🐘❤🐘❤🐘❤🐘❤

  11. REPLY
    Barb Campbell says

    Love that you found a holistic vet ♥️ I follow one for my dogs very happy with his advice

  12. REPLY
    Renee' Killian-Zeiger says

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this sweet little Lady, Mara encounter! I am so excited to hear Lady is being a such brave girl! !

  13. REPLY
    Sunny says

    I’m thrilled for this encounter ☺. Nice idea include a holistic vet 👍.

  14. REPLY
    Suzanne says

    Best story today Ever! Makes my heart happy <3 You go girl – love & prayers to the Ellies & their wonderful keepers.

  15. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    I love the way you let us know every development of these lovely elephants who have never been shown such understanding from humans.

  16. REPLY
    Bo says

    Holistic, homeo, acupuncture, this sort of therapy and treatment for animals has a big advantage I think, other than with humans: with animals, you have no placebo effect ‘risk’.
    Not that a placebo effect is bad, no, whatever can help, all the better.
    But you have no placebo effects with animals which I think is a big advantage and when you hear people who had acupuncture treatment themselves, they say they really had positive effects.
    And some people I know had acupuncture done to their pets and had a kind of miracle effect, so to speak.
    Again: no placebo effect with animals and therefore I am a strong believer in it. No, obviously it can’t help for every problem of course but …
    Fingers crossed that this vet can help out the girls!!!

    Always love the stories when Lady decides to hang out at the barn…

  17. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Oh, for our love of Lady!!!!! What a brave girl she is! Little by little she has progressed, made her own decisions and is realising that nothing is forced…choices in her own time. Mara was an angel allowing Lady to spend time there without pressure to socialise. Lady you are a star and so is Mara. Get well dear, sweet Mara, we all love you so much.

  18. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    OH YES👍YES👍SWEET LIL FEARFUL LOVELY LADY❤️🐘. YES I THOUGHT THAT LADYS ACTIONS HAVE BEEN MORE CALMING AND NORMAL! YES ITS BEEN REPORTED LADY HAS BEEN SPENDING TIME WATCHING AND LOOKING AT THE OTHER LADIES! BAMBI! MAIA! RANA! AND MARA. QUITE OFTEN. I WAS THINKING IT SEEMS SHES MAYBE FEELING BETTER AND CALMING DOWN HER FEARS. AS SHE CAN SEE AND HEAR NONE OF THE LADIES ARE FIGHTING PHYSICALLY WHICH I BELIEVE IS HER WORST PAST FEAR BECAUSE SHE GOT ABUSED BY OTHER ELEPHANT/S❗️ IT WAS NICE LADY GOT 🐘MARAS CABBAGE AND WAS VERY CALM BEING SO CLOSE IN THE SHUTES😍. I NOTICE THE CHANGE IN MARAS HEAD. SHE HAS LOST WEIGHT ON HER FACE ! SHE SEEMS TO LOOK MUCH OLDER AND ALOT LESS CHUBBY! IM SO 🤭CONCERNED FOR MARA AND HER HEALTH! IM THINKING LADY SENSES MARA IS NOT WELL EITHER HENCE HER CALMNESS! IM VERY 👏THANKFUL A HOLISTIC VET IS GOING TO COME AND SEE MARA AND HELP HER!! PLUS LADYS ALSO🙏

  19. REPLY
    Carey says

    Remarkable indeed!

  20. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    EVERYTHING THEY SAID !!!

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