We recently mentioned how Bambi walks and moves more reminiscent of an African elephant than an Asian elephant.
There’s another thing she does that reminds us of the African elephants we have worked with – and it’s the way she eats.
When we go out to “drop hay” for the girls, we don’t usually leave their hay in one spot. We will leave piles of hay, with one or two fruits on top, in a few locations in the area they are currently in. It encourages the elephants to move around a bit while they eat like they do when they graze. Usually, the elephants will investigate each pile immediately, eat the fruit, and have one bite of hay. Once all the fruit is gone, they usually circle back and start eating the remaining hay. We typically do two flakes of hay per pile, so it will take them at least an hour or two to eat everything. It makes sense to eat the “good stuff” first and eat the less exciting hay later. If there are any fruits that they feel “meh” about, they may leave it to eat it on their second visit as well.
Bambi approaches the piles more like an African elephant. That is, she runs to the first pile and eats all the fruit. Then she shoves an entire flake of hay in her mouth. Before she chews it, she grabs the remaining flake of hay and runs to the next pile to repeat. African elephants have tusks, so when they take a “to go” flake, they usually stash it between their trunk and their tusks for a hands-free (or trunk-free) traveling system. There is nothing funnier than Bambi shoving as much hay as physically possible in her mouth, gathering up everything she can carry, and hustling to her next pile. She is charming and hysterical.
Photo of Bambi.