During Bambi’s most recent weigh-in, we were delighted to see how willing she was to get into the chute and participate in the whole process. Those of you who have followed Bambi’s journey from the beginning – particularly in the days and months prior to her transport to sanctuary – may remember how hesitant she was to enter her crate at first. She was also quite reluctant to remain in the crate for any length of time.
Most of our girls have been curious about the transport crates fairly quickly, even finding it comforting at times, eating and resting in them. Bambi was not one of those elephants; the crate was not her “thing.” Even when she arrived at sanctuary, she did not want to stay in the treatment chute; she never seemed very settled in there. Karissa, one of our protected contact trainers, worked with her on entering and remaining in the chute for a few seconds, but Bambi was quickly ready to leave every time. In fact, the chute was not completely closed during those sessions.
During the recent weigh-in, Bambi did not hesitate to walk into the chute and stay there. After seeing how relaxed she was, the caregivers closed both sides of the chute, just to see if she would remain calm – and she never showed any signs of unease. This is another sign that Bambi is becoming much more trusting in her new life and is more grounded in general. As we’ve seen with other elephants in the past – most elephants learn to understand the freedom that comes along with their new lives, but in their own time.
Photo of Bambi before and after gaining about 400 kilos (880 pounds)