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Bambi Learns Body Language


In this video, Bambi is approaching Rana (and the fence). Mara doesn’t appear in the video, but she is just off-screen beside Rana for the entire video.

While Mara, Bambi, and Rana are doing well as a trio, Bambi is a little more watchful than she was before. As you can see in this video, Bambi hesitates and observes from a distance. Bambi seems to be more aware of Mara. Not just where Mara physically is; she’s also paying attention to where Mara is emotionally. Bambi appears to begin to understand body language, which is most likely due to her growing friendship with Rana. Previously, Bambi would only think about her own needs or desire to say “hi,” or that she wanted to touch Mara. Now, Bambi seems to be thinking, “Does Mara want me to say hello?” It’s a significant step, and we are proud of her for learning to stop and think before approaching. It is all part of her truly understanding what it means to be a herd member.

We see the three hang out in different configurations throughout the day. It may be Bambi and Mara together with Rana by herself, or Rana and Mara with Bambi by herself. Just as frequently, it’s Bambi and Rana together with Mara doing her own thing or all three together. They are figuring out what works, and it seems to be going well for them.

Comments(14)

  1. REPLY
    John says

    So similar to human interaction dynamics. Thanks for being the translator.

  2. REPLY
    Nancy J Shaw says

    Reminds me of Junior High ! When Rana lifted her trunk in that manner….did that mean anything to Bambi?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      It is to smell her, but her actions are positive and welcoming. 🙂

  3. REPLY
    Nancy says

    I love and look forward your daily updates on the girls, but suddenly I am not getting photos or videos, even when I open it within the ESB website blog. Has your format changed to be unfriendly to iPads, or is it just my rather old one? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      We have had some issues and needed to make some mobile changes recently. It would be really helpful to us to get more details so we can see if there is a problem. Would you mind emailing me at kat @ globalelephants.org so we can try to straighten it out, if possible? thanks

  4. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    Bambi!! Can I just say how very proud we are of you? So much to learn from your sisters, new surroundings, new smells, new foods, new people. We can only imagine how overwhelming this has been, but look at you now!🐘♥️

  5. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    AWESOME BIG SWEETHEART BAMBI👍❤️🐘SO GREAT SEEING BAMBI RECOGNIZE THAT HER EXUBERANCE WITH MARA IS NOT DESIRED ESPECIALLY WHEN MARA IS NOT FEELING WELL! AND IT SEE BAMBI IS SHOWING RANA SHE IS BEING CAREFUL BECAUSE SHES NOT QUITE SURE WHERE MARA IS! I DO FEEL SAD FOR BAMBI AS SHE CANT BE HER EXTROVERTED SELF IN HER GREETINGS OF ❤️ LOVE! BUT THIS IS HOW SHE NEEDS TO BE FOR MARAS SAKE!

  6. REPLY
    Sidney Hodges says

    No one ever claimed that elles were “unintelligent”. Good for you Bambi. Too bad you were so long denied the opportunity to learn how to be a herd member.
    Excellent work Team. Always be a life long learner Bambi.💕

  7. REPLY
    Kathleen Ryan says

    Wonderful Video ! Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. REPLY
    Sallie says

    TALK ABOUT DANCE MOVES . . . THIS IS THE ELEPHANT CHA CHA CHA! TWO STEPS FORWARD AND TWO STEPS BACK, OR HANGING IN THE BUSH . . . HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THESE PERSONALITIES! WISH I WAS THERE . . .

  9. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    This is so good to hear. Bambi is gradually adapting and learning elephant etiquette. I guess this will mean she will be more readily accepted within the herd? Mara seems to be able to tolerate her which is good for Bambi as she needs interaction with her sisters. She seems to crave it which is natural given her long isolation at the zoo and fear of her companion, Maison.
    It’s wonderful to see them sharing space now.

  10. REPLY
    Carmen Dalziel says

    Awe I kinda feel very sad for Bambi here – she no longer can be herself and it shows. I just want to hug her and be her best friend forever. I hope she gets an elefriend who wants her FIRST AND FORMOST. She needs to feel wanted and not just an add-on when Mara feels ok with her. I hope that this doesn’t break her exuberant spirit where she becomes submissive and a shell of herself

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      That’s not how it appears at all. That would be like saying just because you don’t run up and hug and kiss everyone on the mouth that you meet, that your boisterous spirit is broken. Elephants are herd animals, and part of being a supportive herd member is also thinking about other’s feelings, as well as your own. She is ridiculously silly with Rana, and even gets playful around Mara, but she’s a good friend and takes it down a notch when she sees her friend not feeling well. Just as you would if your partner or friend had a migraine. If you truly look at Bambi, there is no feeling sorry for her. She is amazing, silly, goofy, spontaneous, and a total joy- but now she’s also learning how to be a real friend. There is nothing sad about that.

  11. REPLY
    Carey says

    So much to learn, And they all do learn, kinda wonderful.

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