Bambi’s stomach issues

Bambi is currently having some stomach issues. When going down to give the girls breakfast yesterday, Bambi seemed a little off, even before approaching. She was reluctant to come to the fence for her breakfast initially, and after she walked over, she wasn’t interested in eating. Scott came back with some watermelon, and as he approached, she had a bout of diarrhea. After that, she was a little more willing to eat, having some pineapple and watermelon, and taking a drink from the hose. Her energy was low and she was visibly crampy.

After discussions between caregivers and veterinarians, a treatment plan was formulated, along with a plan of how to manage her and her two friends for the day. Bambi was given an injection and she and her sisters went to stand under the ‘Itchy Scratchy’ tree in yard one. Because of the difficulty in offering her food and her friends wanting to ‘share’ in what is offered, the decision was made to shift Mara and Rana into yard 3 a little later, leaving yard 2 empty, allowing better access to Bambi and the ability for her to eat slowly should she choose. She remained under the tree, so the water was turned on that is plumbed to the mud wallow to see if it would stimulate her to move. It did and she went over and bathed and then splashed (looking at that moment, you wouldn’t have known that she didn’t feel well.) In a display of- you try weird things when you are trying to get an elephant to eat, cut-up pieces of apple were sent through the tube that fills the wallow, and Bambi ate them. She eventually came over to the fence and Tina was able to give her some food, which she ate, and drank 3.5 buckets of water. 

The girls were fed their dinner separately, allowing Bambi to receive another injection and to give her some more food. While her having an appetite is a positive thing, feeding is done in moderation. Just like people, when your stomach is having issues, you don’t eat the normal volume or types of foods that you would, and we treat their system gently as well. Once everyone was done eating, all 3 yards were opened back up again so the ladies could be together. They greeted each other with lots of rumbles and touches. Both Scott and Tina agreed if they hadn’t seen her sick earlier, they wouldn’t have known anything had happened by her appearance at that moment. Caregivers all went up to our houses and continued monitoring the elephants on the cameras with a plan to come down at 10 to offer more food and water and lay eyes on Bambi. 

At about 9:30 pm, Bambi showing signs of abdominal discomfort was seen on the cameras. When Scott went down for late feed, the girls were all glued at the hip, which makes things more difficult, but the emotional support from her friends is imperative. Bambi ate a couple of bananas but then walked away, so food was laid out throughout the yard allowing for hay and produce to be available should she want it. With the two girls that tend towards chunky, Maia and Guille, out in yards 4&5, there was no issue with putting a fair bit of food in the yards. Throughout the evening, Bambi could be seen dusting and, at some points, grazing in some areas with short grass.

This morning she is still very low energy, but better than yesterday morning. She ate her breakfast produce and watermelon, drank, and had some additional probiotics. At this point, because of her low energy and the fact that the girls all seem settled, we have decided to keep them in the smaller yards for now. The smaller yards create several advantages for managing sick elephants- they are easier to monitor (day and night), we can separate elephants and still have them close while providing them space, it offers safer treatment options, and access to the barn should they want it. 

We wanted to share what was going on with you, but please know that because it is the weekend, our US staff is off and they are the ones who usually respond to comments and questions on social media and write posts. So we will not be on social media much to answer questions but will try to post a quick update in the comments section at the end of the day. As most of us know, after a significant gastrointestinal upset, you don’t feel back to normal within 24 hours. We are happy that she is eating and drinking, but she is not out of the woods at this point. Blood had been taken from her at the beginning of the week before she got sick, and the results looked good. Although we were unaware of her future stomach issues, it was comforting having those very recent results and knowing that her general internal health, at least through bloodwork, looks good. 

Rana and Mara aren’t showing concern, but do appear quite content with the level of food being offered. Maia and Guille are off exploring but Maia was keen to stay close around dinner last night, watching the girls in yard 1 from yard 5. For now, please keep Bambi in your thoughts and send her soothing stomach energy.

**Update below in comments**


  1. REPLY
    Barb says

    Oh goodness! I am so hopeful that Bambi recovers completely quickly.

  2. REPLY
    Bej says

    Tends towards chunky….omg… hahaha. That pretty much sums up my life. Hope Bambi is better soon.

  3. REPLY
    Melinda says

    Poor baby. I hope and pray she recovers very soon!

  4. REPLY
    Maria Tereza Hungerbühler says

    Força Bambi.

  5. REPLY
    Kayle Luthey says

    My positive thoughts for Bambi’s recovery are so strong. Thank you for this update.

  6. REPLY
    Samantha says

    I will keep Bambi and all her caretakers in my thoughts. Thank you for the update.

    Feel better, Bambi! xoxoxo

  7. REPLY
    Diane Duckworth says

    Being in a jungle are there snakes there ? Could she have gotten bit and its what has made her sick ?
    Just wounder

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      we are not in a jungle, the area we are in is considered cerrado, but we do have snakes. she isn’t presenting anything like that. the thickness of the skin on their feet protects from bites (at least from the snakes that are here and the length of their fangs). but this is clearly a GI issue. we saw many more snakes in Tennessee, but it never caused an issue with the elephants.

  8. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    Bambi, you will get better, 💚🧚🏻💚🧚🏻

  9. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Oh, Bambi! I am praying for you and sending soothing, healing love over the miles. Thankful for you human caregivers! 🙏💖🙏

  10. REPLY
    Sue says

    Sending positive and soothing stomach thoughts to you Sweet Bambi! It is never easy when your tummy hurts. Preying for a speedy recovery and that you are feeling better soon. You are surrounded by those who love you and will do their best to help you through. Love you!! ❤️🐘❤️

  11. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Thinking of you Bambi get well soon sweetheart we are praying for your speedy recovery! Sending lots of love and big hugs 🙏💞🤗

  12. REPLY
    Luanne L Schick says

    We are praying 🙏 for your improved tummy issues. Sending Love ❤️ and virtual smooches. Love ❤️ Huzs to all keepers.

  13. REPLY
    Suzanne Eaton says

    Precious Bambi, my healing thoughts surround you. I know this is only temporary and soon you will be feeling wonderful. Love you.❤️🐘
    Thank you to the team caring for you. 🙏

  14. REPLY
    jen says

    Tons of love and healing thoughts to the glorious sweet Bambi… Feel better soon dear one!

  15. REPLY
    Jennifer Barnes says

    Do you ever worry about the other elephants catching what she has? Like humans with the stomach flu?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      No, it’s nothing that we have seen happen with all of our years with elephants. Sometimes if there is an issue with food source, facilities have had problems with multiple elephants, but so far, everyone else is doing well.

  16. REPLY
    Wim says

    Thank you for very informative update on Bambi.
    Sincerely hope she will recover and have enough energy to enjoy more beautiful days.

  17. REPLY
    Joan says

    As I first became aware of your work at GSE with the arrival of Bambi, she holds a special interest for me.

  18. REPLY
    Terry says

    Soothing stomach energy and healing floor you sweet Bambi!!! You are in the best hands ever and I KNOW you will be back zooming around soon!!!
    Thank you again for all you do along with this very detailed health report!!!

  19. REPLY
    Alice says

    Praying for Bambi’s quick recovery. She is in the best place she could be for loving care!

  20. REPLY
    Irene says

    Ahh Bambi, feel better soon! 🙏🏻😢❤️, thank you all for taking such good care for our sweet girl!
    Hopefully the other ladies don’t catch what Bambi has!🥹💕. Thank you for the update . ♥️

  21. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Sending healing energy for Bambi and hope her tummy feels better soon. Sending lots of love!

  22. REPLY
    Carey says

    Thank you for letting us know, I will definitely be holding Bambi in my thoughts. I hope you manage to get to the root of the problem

  23. REPLY
    Lynne Russert says

    Oh Bambi, I’m so sad you’re feeling under the weather. Hope tomorrow brings a better day for you! 🩷🩷🩷

  24. REPLY
    Deb says

    Aw, precious Bambi…..may guardian angels watch over you & know that you are in the VERY BEST hands with Scott & Kat.
    Everyone is sending you soothing vibes. We love you😘🙏🏻💖

  25. REPLY
    Julie says

    Oh dear, sweet Bambi. I am praying for you, sweetie. I hope the staff is doing okay. I know this sort of thing is tough on everyone involved. Update us soon!

  26. REPLY
    Andrea says

    Ugh Gi upset is not fun. Poor girl feel better quickly.

  27. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    Sweet Bambi. SO much love and healing energy is coming your way from thousands of miles, thousands of people, thousands of well wishes. SO MUCH . You are in the best of care, surrounded by experts that we are so thankful for. 🐘❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  28. REPLY
    Kat Blais says

    Bambi’s pattern of how she feels tonight is very similar to how things went yesterday. She is quiet in the morning, and as the afternoon rolls around, things start to get closer to what would be ‘normal’. And it’s actually at the warmest part of the day, so it’s not temperature-related. Her appetite improves, her energy increases, and she seems ready to go wander. Her diet is still being somewhat restricted, but she thoroughly enjoyed her fresh-cut bamboo this afternoon and seems to prefer it to her hay, which isn’t an issue since it contains more moisture. She also continues to graze. At dinner time, the sanctuary was graced with a short but beautiful rainstorm. This much-needed precipitation not only causes a drop in temperature but always lightens the mood with the girls. After Bambi ate her meal, she was again reunited with the two other Powerpuff girls, which caused many rumbles, lots of touching, and some little trumpets. The girls were in yard 2 when we left to go up the hill, but we can see on the camera that they are now in yard 5. We are hoping the larger space will allow Bambi more areas to graze, the ability to move around more (motion is good to help the cramping), and more spots to lie down and rest so her body can recover. We suspect she may take another little step backward tomorrow during the day, but she hasn’t gone back to her initial low level of energy and not wanting to eat, so we’ll take it step by step and make sure she is medicated and nurtured. Thank you everyone for the emotional support. We will try to post something tomorrow, but it will most likely only be in the afternoon. Good night from Brazil. 💜

  29. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Bambi I know you can’t read this but I hope you feel better tomorrow and hopefully you just had a little stomachache

  30. REPLY
    Alejandra Enquin says


  31. REPLY
    Audrey says

    Sending lots of love 💕💕 and healing thoughts to Bambi 🥰
    I hope Bambi’s stomach issues clear up soon.

  32. REPLY
    Angelina says

    Hope she bounces back soon. 🐘🤕

    I know it’s not the same but I had to laugh because I grabbed a bag with delicious dried fruits from my local Lidl last week… And I guess you know the rest… 😂 Yes, prunes and apricots included. Must have been the culprits.

    Still, could Bambi have stumbled upon something that she ate, something that isn’t plentiful so that the others weren’t affected? But I am probably showing my complete lack of experience with elephants here. I assume that they too have a gallbladder and bile duct?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      they don’t have a gallbladder, but they can always over indulge. they have the ability to differentiate from what is edible and what is not (a scientific study was done on the phenomenon).

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