Bambi continues to make us laugh daily with her antics. Recently, Mara was eating in the chute, with Rana and Bambi outside in the yards. They all love each other and, sometimes, they try to touch Mara through the bars as she is eating, which can be a little distracting.
We fed Rana and Bambi in Yard 1 and closed the gate between Yards 1 and 2 closest to the barn, to allow Mara to eat in peace. We left the far gate open, so if the other two wanted to be closer, they could. Everyone ate fine and was calm. As they finished their meals, Rana and Bambi switched piles and finished each other’s dinner, which is somewhat common. Once Mara finished, we let her into Yard 2, and she walked to an elephant-made mud wallow and started dusting herself. Rana also walked through the open gate to be near Mara.
Sometimes Bambi isn’t the most observant elephant. She is mostly blind in her left eye, but her lack of observational skills can usually be attributed to her puppy-style excitement and lack of attention to detail, rather than her limited vision. Bambi’s first response is not to stop and think, as most Asian elephants might. Despite knowing where both the gates are, when Rana “disappeared” (that is, walked through an open gate to Mara), Bambi did not approach either gate to see if they were open. Instead, she ran down the fence with her big deep rumbles, calling for Rana. She didn’t run to the gate, but turned around before it. On her second lap, she realized that the gate was open and ran to the others, full speed. Once they were “reunited,” there was a full spectrum of excited behaviors – spinning, touching, vocalizations. It was a silly, but happy, moment that Scott caught on film.