Sometimes, a sleepy Maia is a little less compliant.
Maia spends a lot of time in the ponds. Shirlei was recently out feeding the girls breakfast and found Maia in the pond. If mornings start out warm, Maia can be found going for a dip, so it wasn’t surprising or out of character to discover her there before breakfast.
Maia is many things, including observant. The 4wheeler is loud, and Maia knows the morning routine. She was very aware when Shirlei arrived with breakfast. However, Maia ignored Shirlei’s arrival, aside from a little periscope sniffing with her trunk in that direction.
Part of feeding the elephants is also checking them over and making sure they are ok. Caregivers ensure that the elephants are moving, eating, and behaving normally. While Maia being a pond blob is normal behavior, Shirlei still wanted to make sure her appetite and movement were healthy. Usually, if an elephant is lying down when we arrive to feed, the caregiver will leave to feed the other elephants, and then come back. That morning, everybody else had already been fed. This left Shirlei waiting on the 4wheeler for little Miss Maia to decide it was time to stand up and eat breakfast. Thank goodness for walkie-talkies or the rest of the team would’ve been worried about Shirlei!
Maia eventually came out (15 minutes later), nonchalant, but ready for breakfast. Shirlei fed Maia & watched her enjoy her breakfast with her normal appetite and love of food.
Pictured: Maia in the pond.
March 13, 2020