Maia returned to the pond in Yard 4, where Rana and Mara are still hanging out with no signs of leaving the area anytime soon. With the three of them together, and with Lady continuing to communicate that she is good staying near the barn, it seemed time for Bambi to explore.
Bambi continues to be speedy, curious, and all sorts of spunky. We opened the gate between Yards 1 & 5 and went through with the four-wheeler (ATV) to see if she would follow.
As you can see in the video, Bambi followed right away with no hesitation. She zoomed after us in the same way she zoomed out of the crate when she first arrived one week ago. Bambi is generally excited to see the four-wheeler. She enjoys food and is very food motivated. It didn’t take her long to realize that the four-wheeler meant snacks or meals, so she quickly comes when she hears the four-wheeler. We frequently joke that the elephants react to the four-wheeler how children react to hearing the ice cream truck. In this video, Bambi is in full “ice cream truck” mode.
We put down hay and snacks in a few locations for her, but we are mostly giving her time and space to explore independently. Now that she is in a more massive yard, we don’t know what she is doing every second of the day, and that is part of their freedom. We check in on them, her more frequently since everything is so new, but in order for her to build up her confidence, she has to do some things on her own. She did enjoy a bath from the water trough and then walked around the pond to explore. One spot near the pond seems to be a favorite spot for the other elephants, and Bambi has already discovered it. The location appears to be an early favorite of hers as well. It’s a nice shady spot with many smaller trees and bushes. Like Lady, Bambi seems to enjoy standing in the middle of the bushes, and that’s where she spent a chunk of the morning.