Ani are a type of bird from the cuckoo family, and they are prevalent around the sanctuary this time of year. There are bugs galore due to the amount of rain we are getting, much to the dismay of the humans and the elephants. However, ani LOVE bugs and are delighted by the massive amount that the elephants kick up as they are walking through the tall grasses.
You can see them here following Mara, as she emerges from the bushes. Then Bambi walks near and even more birds follow her near the ground, hoping for a hearty meal.
Though the ani can be annoying when elephants initially arrive, they do eat lots of insects, which the elephants seem to understand and accept their clumsy companionship for the benefit they bring.
P.S.: The dark spots you see on the girls’ skin is oil from a natural bug spray we use, for all those pests that the ani don’t eat.
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Pam saysDecember 10, 2022 at 2:06 pm
If I had the chance, I’d be following these wonderful elephants closely too, but for entirely different reasons!
Renee Killian-Zeiger saysDecember 10, 2022 at 5:41 pm
This looks like Heaven to me…I can’t begin to imagine how the girls feel to just graze, roam , mud wallow, dust bathe, pond swim and sleep wherever they want….as it should be. I know this is not where they should ever have been, HOWEVER, they have a chance at healing to whatever degree will happen and have autonomy in a captive situation to make those decisions for as long as they live. Thank you GSE for EVERYTHING you do to take care of these beautiful gentle giants that God put on this earth. God bless and keep you all during this season of life!
Kayle Luthey saysDecember 10, 2022 at 6:19 pm
Sara, do you EVER get a day off??????????
Kat Blais saysDecember 10, 2022 at 6:21 pm
she is off. it’s me kat who is answering comments. 😉
Katherine saysDecember 11, 2022 at 5:18 am
Do the elephants eat any of the natural vegetation , grass, bushes, trees etc?
Kat Blais saysDecember 11, 2022 at 8:34 am
yes, approximately 80-85% of their diet comes from the habitat. with a slight decrease during the end of the dry season. ☺️
Jen saysDecember 12, 2022 at 1:24 am
I see so many beautiful hills behind the gals, are they able to traverse the area? Or is their habitat mostly the flat areas? BTW, Lady looks splendidly strong and muscle -y as seen in the video from the other day! Thank you all so much for all you do for these amazing creatures.
Kat Blais saysDecember 12, 2022 at 7:47 am
they have access to some hills right now, their habitat is definitely not flat, and part of the reason for the level of muscle development you see on all of the girls. the big hill that is often seen in the background is outside of their current habitat, but will be within their next habitat expansion. that is not happening yet, as money still needs to be raised for it, but it is in the near future hopefully.
CHRISTINE FRAPWELL saysDecember 12, 2022 at 2:09 pm
Do you have to supplement w/hay. I know the girls love their goodies but does the sanctuary itself offer enough nutrition for them.
Sara saysDecember 12, 2022 at 2:59 pm
We supplement hay for a number of reasons. We talk about that a little bit here: https://globalelephants.org/elefact-friday-supplementing-food/
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