Mara and Bambi recently came to the barn without Rana for night feed. It wasn’t a cause for human concern, as they are not together at all times. Bambi, however, seemed to feel that Rana needed to join them.
Bambi called, and called, and called for Rana using giant, deep rumbles, while Mara enjoyed her meal in the chute. When Rana showed up, there was an incredible celebration. Bambi and Rana shared lots of rumbles, trumpets, affection, and touching. It was a very tender moment and lovely to witness. When Mara finished eating that evening and left the chute, the three of them ended up sharing big trumpets, rumbles, and vocalizing again.
Many of our followers ask if Rana is a “third wheel” or express sympathy for her over Bambi and Mara’s deep bond. These moments are an excellent example of how loved Rana is. She is truly a friend of both Mara and Bambi. As we have mentioned before, Bambi tends to be very protective of Mara at times. We have no way to know if that stems from Bambi’s insecurity, her desire for a best friend, if she senses Mara’s health issue, or something else. Even though Bambi is more attentive to Mara’s needs, Bambi doesn’t just hang out with Mara; she sometimes chooses to hang out with Rana instead. Her reaction to seeing Rana that night, which Scott described as a “Welcome Home!” party, shows that all three have bonded both individually and together. Even though three elephants aren’t enough for a herd, it is the groundwork of a herd, which is a beautiful sight.
This video is from another day, but it shows the bond and love between the three during one of their more subdued parties.