Bambi Meets Her First Tapirs


Bambi met her first tapirs! At around 7:30 last night, Bambi trumpeted loudly enough that Trish heard it at the office. After hearing a few more rumbles and noises, she checked the camera system. It showed Bambi standing in Yard 1, looking very alert, and then quickly heading into the barn.

Shortly after she went into the barn, two tapirs walked by Yard 1, near where Bambi was watching. We believe she saw them and was unsure what she should think. In Bambi’s defense, tapirs are a unique looking animal. (If you aren’t familiar with them, you can see some photos here →).

The first time Rana saw a tapir, she made so much noise that we came running, just to see Nutmeg, looking confused, nearby. Nutmeg is a full-grown, 700 lb (320 kg) tapir who graduated from our wildlife rehabilitation program. He is now fully wild, but still comes into the area at times, so we occasionally see him.

We are unsure if the tapirs that Bambi saw last night were ones that we know. Just as new elephant arrivals tend to react strongly to birds initially, they can respond similarly to other wildlife too. It doesn’t usually take long for an elephant to realize that the wildlife isn’t a threat. Once they notice the animals aren’t responding to them, they stop responding as well.

It seemed very exciting for Bambi, but she handled it very well. Shortly after, she felt brave enough to go back to the yard without any human intervention.

Photo of Bambi, enjoying a bath.

October 1, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Carol Mitchell says

    Thanks so much for these lovely stories, they make me day! Hope everyone is well there and the rains come soon.

  2. REPLY
    Deb Moore says

    I think that once she ventures out she will really stay out! So much to see hear smell there. She is famished for it all and is doing so well with her courage, I am impressed.

    • REPLY
      FRANCINE FORD says

      So many new experiences for such an old lady! But she handles it like the Rockstar she is! ? Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  3. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    More Exciting every day ! 🙂

    • REPLY
      Alejandra(Sandy)Enquin says

      Que encuentro emocionante para Bambi !!pobre gorda se habra asustado? al principio,son hermosos los tapires??,La nueva vida en libertad Bambita te depara sorpresas hermosas???

  4. REPLY
    Jillyp says

    It must be very strange for the new arrivals to see different animals fairly close in ‘their’ yard when in the zoo/park, they prob wouldn’t have seen anything else at all, perhaps a bird or two! Well done Bambi for handling it well. It’s quite funny to think of Rana making so much noise and Nutmeg bemused as to what she’s talking about! These emails from you always come through just before I head off to bed here in England and it’s a wonderful end to each day, lovely thoughts to sleep on, thank you ❤️??

  5. REPLY
    Sidney says

    Luv Bambi’s reaction to the tapir; make a noise & then find out what it is. Her reaction to and love of french fries only makes her more loveable.

  6. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    These learning steps are so wonderful and almost funny at times. This is when you realise what barren lives elephants have in captivity. A whole new world for Bambi and I think she is doing great.

  7. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Thanks to Bambi, I now know what a tapir is and what one looks like!!!

  8. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    She already looks different. With her love of the water her skin looks better!

  9. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Bless Bambi’s heart; she has lived a life in prison, but now sanctuary can heal her if she allows it too. Thank you GSE!!
    I love you all for your good work taking care of God’s creatures. He will surely reward you and I do believe he already has.
    I am very grateful for your work.❤️????

  10. REPLY
    Sallie says

    Good Girl, Miss Bambi! Good reactions, Smarty Pants! You are learning about your local wildlife! No Big Deal, when you are an Elephant Extraordinaire!

  11. REPLY
    arie says

    Encounters with other species is another enrichment for Bambi’s life at the haven, I’m sure. It keeps her alert and interested.
    Tapirs are such special and a little funny animals, love them.

    And I love to read these stories and comments from everyone here! Thank you all ?❤️

  12. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    oh my! sweet ❤️?bambi got quite a fright❗️ i can imagine how she fled! i guess when taiper ?didnt come after her she relaxed. and got brave again as she didnt want to miss out on some foraging and exploring??❤️ i think the taiper was just welcoming bambi?. he/she tapier likely. wondered if there was 5 big gals now as herd is growing!

  13. REPLY
    Wim says

    Looks a bit like the story of the mouse and the Elephant. Hopefully Bambi likes them in the near future. Everything’s so surprising when your back on mother nature’s playing ground. Stay safe and have wonderful Friday.

  14. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Her world was once void of excitement with very little enrichment in her life. Now she has stimulation, a whole new world to explore, friendships to forge. The healing has begun!
    Well done, Bambi, sweet angel. You are so brave and so loved.
    Thank you for sharing her journey with us. Love to all.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  15. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    I Love what Sallie wrote! Just perfect!

  16. REPLY
    Carey says

    These ladies truly do have to get used to such a lot of difference on every level! It really makes you think. Not short of stimulation anyway!!!

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