The other night, around 10:30, while out feeding the tapirs, we heard a trumpet from Maia and Guida. Scott was inside the house, but sound carries through the hills nicely at night. The thing about this specific trumpet is it sounded a little concerned or surprised.
When we talk about elephant expressions and vocalizations, we try to stress there is no blanket statement to be made about any of it. A trumpet can be happy, angry, concerned, the list goes on. But when you hear them enough, you get to know the difference. I returned back to the house and asked Scott if he wanted to go check it out and he did, so down the hill we went.
One of the nice things about having elephant caregivers on grounds is that we know the elephants and can look in on them any time of day or night. The trumpet could be something simple like a wasp sting (we have nasty white wasps that are only out at night), being surprised while grazing by something small scurrying by or any number of things, but we sleep better when we know all is well.
It took a little bit to find both girls, they were together but deep in the woods and as we were on our way in, after doing the big loop, they were on their way out to find us. While eating their late night surprise bounty of fruit, we gave them a visual once over, looking at their bodies, the expressions on their faces and their interaction with each other. All seemed perfectly fine, so we said good night and went back home.
If things had not been ok, Laura our veterinarian also lives on grounds and Heivy our other caregiver lives down the road. We are equipped and able to handle emergencies including downed elephants and immediate IV and medical support. So while we are happy that our evening ride was for nothing, there is also comfort knowing that no matter what it was, we are prepared.
The photo is lovely Miss Guida.