We’ve had the first truly soaking rain here at the sanctuary and things got squishy for everyone very quickly. The elephants all love getting wet, making mud wallows, and generally covering themselves with dirt and mud. These are the moments when we see the girls enjoying satisfying scratches on the trees or, in this case with Guille and Bambi, with each other. At the beginning of this video, you can see Mara delighting in the rain and Pocha having a mud bath. Guillermina is embracing the rain wholeheartedly, as she gets down into the mud and covers her body – which has to feel good.
After a while, Bambi and Guille start to play together on a one-on-one basis, and the other elephants give them the space they need to roughhouse – in a charming and harmless way. Sometimes when it comes to Guillermina, Bambi can step into leadership mode; in this instance she is embracing the fun-loving nature that Guille is bringing to the party. There are moments when Guille starts to get a little overly enthusiastic in her actions toward Bambi. But Bambi opts not to be a disciplinarian and instead sticks around, getting her fill of the kind of play she rarely has the chance to enjoy. Guillermina hasn’t been able to engage this way with others in her entire 24 years, so there’s something charming about seeing that side of her welcomed by another elephant.
Eventually, it’s time for mom to step in and Pocha walks over to observe what is going on between Bambi and Guille, who are now playing somewhat more gently. Though it’s not something Pocha would normally do, she seems to take the edge off of the party before Guille tests Bambi’s limits too much. There’s something momentous about watching her maternal side come out and seeing Guille respond to what her mother is saying in a way she has not in the past. The two take a few steps to the side for some mother and daughter affection as Bambi goes her own way. The whole interaction was a great opportunity for both Bambi and Guille to allow their playful energy to shine through.