Bambi’s Excitement and Enjoyment


Bambi is settling into sanctuary life. She is a little overeager to live her life to the fullest, which can leave her a bit all over the place. Everything is still very stimulating and new for her. She seems to want to experience everything at once. Bambi is like a small child at an amusement park, or, more realistically, like a prisoner who suddenly has access to everyday life after decades in a tiny cell of solitary confinement. It’s overwhelming in a positive way. There’s so much for her to see and feel and touch.

When she was spending time with Mara and Rana, who are both very accustomed to sanctuary life, she was better at slowing down. We would see her stop and observe, helping her experience her new life more fully. Now that she is spending time alone, she returned to her excitement of trying to be everywhere and do everything simultaneously. It’s very charming but exhausting to watch. She hasn’t been at sanctuary very long, so it’s normal for her to still be over-excited by everything. It will evolve as she continues to settle in. Sometimes, we jokingly refer to her as a puppy due to her flitting excitement.

Bambi’s beginning to learn just how much power she wields over her humans here. We noticed that, when we gave her pineapples, she would squish them. Usually, elephants eat them whole. It seemed she was squishing the fruit out the skin (like a tube of toothpaste). To see if that is what she was doing, we tried cutting the skin off a pineapple before giving it to her. She was very excited and ate it happily. Now we peel her pineapples. It’s a little thing for us, but it shows her just how different every aspect of her life is here while letting her know we see and listen.

Bambi has also discovered FrootLoops, which is always fun for elephants and humans alike. Since captivity causes physical damage to an elephant’s body, all of our residents receive supplements for their joints (among other things). Usually, we can add their supplements directly to their grain and molasses mixture. Bambi decided she wanted something better. To get the elephants to take medications they won’t take in grain, we form them into bran balls, consisting of bran, molasses, and medication formed into balls. Bambi didn’t care for the flavor, so we tried rolling her bran ball in FrootLoops. She was very excited and now eats her bran ball first.

All of the changes are a lot to process, but it also seems positive for her. She’s been in Yard 5 the past few days and is truly exploring it. Kat recently went out to feed and couldn’t find Bambi anywhere. As she was driving back through the habitat, Kat found Bambi standing in the middle of the road, looking slightly judgy. It seems Bambi realized her silly human couldn’t find her, so she planted herself in the most obvious place to ensure she got her dinner – including her Froot Loop coated bran ball.

Photo of Bambi, enjoying a meal.

October 29, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Barb says

    Bambi is on the move! Best stop and eat first to have strength to go forward on explorations ❤️??

  2. REPLY
    Lois Steinberg says

    Terrific photo! She looks so joyful!

  3. REPLY
    Shirley Taylor says

    I am so happy for Bambi I am crying tears of happiness she is just like a child who hasnt walked before and finds out it can then doesnt stop all day just walking around the garden house wherever they can. Bambi reminds me so much of one of the foster children we had for a long time. When he found his new life at ours he explored and walked round and became a very different little boy from that day on. Bambi is so much like that in my eyes. She is beautiful wonderful and enjoying her life at long last. Thank you for all you do and how you understand each one of the girls. xx

  4. REPLY
    arie says

    Sweet darling Bambi!!
    At the same time I’m so happy for her that SHE’s happy but I ‘m also sad to watch her trying to make up for all the years of freedom that are lost ?

    I sò hope elephants don’t think that way and just live the moment.

    Sometimes ignorance is bliss

    ps. Clever of you, Bambi, to train the humans to peel your pineapples for you ?

  5. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Cute as a button! Love love love Bambi!

  6. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Such a happy girl just look at her cute smile it says everything ???

    • REPLY
      Barb C. says

      She is so adorable ?? she likes her pineapple peeled and she is in the most perfect place in the world for that to happen ??? looking back on her life she so deserves it and more.

  7. REPLY
    Kyle says

    Way to go Bambi! Don’t settle for the ordinary bran ball, go for the yummy fruitloop covered one :). I would be excited too If I got to retire in a great, green place with lots of caretakers after years of being in a small enclosure! Thanks for the post!

    • REPLY
      Heidi says

      Fruit Loops should do away with Toucan Sam and replace him with our Bambi!

  8. REPLY
    Sunny says

    Everyday I wait for news about the meninas. I love hearing about them. And this is really nice news. Keep spoiling that girl, she deserves it!

  9. REPLY
    maria villa says

    Oh my, my, my. Yes, I can see Bambi, standing in the middle of the road, “Im here, see me now?” “You brought the Fruit Loops?, right?,” Pealing her Pineapples. well of course the Humans will peal her Pineapples, and I Bless the hands that do so. Thanks so much. Love you Bambi.

  10. REPLY
    alana says

    Good humans, you learn fast! How could anyone NOT spoil them!

  11. REPLY
    Wim says

    Looks like Bambi hears a who. So super fantastic for this lovely girl she’s overexcited with everything. Must be strange crossover for her to live in complete freedom. Just can’t imagine the thoughts running through her brains. Hopefully the other girls will connect in the future. Bambi deserves some quality time.

  12. REPLY
    John says

    I love the picture of her standing in the road so the humans can find her! That’s a keeper! Like “Here I am, can you see me now?!”

  13. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    All this brings tears to my eyes but laughter as well. A little bit of Heaven in South America.

  14. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    Like – “DUH” hahaha

  15. REPLY
    Julie says

    Smarty pants, Bambi. So beautifully heartbreaking and touching.

  16. REPLY
    Bo says

    Human loves elephant…
    Elephant senses the human love…
    Love that seems to have no limits…

    and makes sure to fully take advantage of that love!

    Lovely update, esp Bambi playing hide&seek with the human!

  17. REPLY
    Terry says

    She is priceless and a magnificent Light!

  18. REPLY
    jennifer says

    Isn’t stepping on food (breadfruit, pineapple) to get to the fleshy bit a normal part of self sustaining elephant behavior? Is cutting skin off of large fruit a disservice if she can access the flesh she wants on her own? I’m happy to be educated on this. I love what you guys do, and love the amazing resilient gals in residence. Your sanctuary and heart truly make a hard day of dumb humans tolerable. Thanks!

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      There are two issues with Bambi and this, this first is that she gets frustrated because she can’t get the inside out of the pineapple and doesn’t eat it. Unlike some other fruit that is easier for them to pull apart, she just ends up squishing the insides. The second is, she’s very underweight from her years at the zoo, so we give her food in whatever way she will eat it. Pineapple is a great natural anti-inflammatory, so. if she’ll eat it without the skins, we are more than happy to give it to her that way. 🙂

      • Kelejan says

        Kat, I love the way you patiently explain why you do something. It always make so much sense. Thank you so much.

      • Kat Blais says

        Thank you. We feel like if one person asks, others are thinking it. And all questions, when asked from a genuine place, are valid. We wish we could open the container doors and let all of the elephants just be, on their own, with no interference from us. That would be perfect. Unfortunately, it’s not the case. Sometimes it means a lot of medical intervention, other times it’s something as ‘silly’ as cutting the rind off of fruit.

  19. REPLY
    Sallie says

    You cannot help but love a girl, who likes her Fruit Loops! Bambi, you are a WONDERFUL Piece of Work! You are a living storybook, with your clever and exciting chapters of life, developing right in front of our eyes. Your showmanship is extraordinary! Keep up the entertainment, Show Girl!

  20. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Humans can be “trained “by animals if they listen to them and truly care for them. At ESB the humans constantly demonstrate how much they want their charges to feel safe and understood. A squirrel has been coming to my window every day for years and she taps to let me know that she is waiting for her nuts, to which I quickly oblige by throwing some out for her from the box I keep permanently full. My cat has also trained me well. Secretly, I love being trained by them and I’m sure that the caregivers at ESB do, too. LOL!
    Bambi has learned very quickly that her humans at ESB really care about her wellbeing. I love to hear how much she is enjoying exploring and finding new things…certainly making up for lost time.
    Bless you all.

  21. REPLY
    Carol Anderson says

    It is so easy for our pets to train us. My cat will stand by one of the cabinets in the kitchen until I open it for him. He will sleep in there for hours.

  22. REPLY
    Donna Ingalls says

    I love reading all the updates on Bambi and the other girls. Thank you for your amazing compassion and kindness… you are all heroes

  23. REPLY

    How wonderful for Ms Bambtastic! How exciting for you all! Thank you for filling us all in on sweet Bambi. She’s saying that her ele friendships can wait while she explores her new digs. So what time’s lunch? Hope it’s peeled pineapple. Thank you for sharing Ms Bambilicious’ adventures with us. For the 1st time in a long time (If ever) she’s got human friends who love & care about her. She’s safe. She’s home!

  24. REPLY

    Look at her! She’s actually smiling! ❤??

    • REPLY
      Beji says

      I hope Bambi & Company continue to like Fruit Loops. I just bought 10 boxes from your wish list and it was one of the most satisfying purchases I have ever made. Damn, it felt good to buy cereal for an elephant. Can knock that off my bucket list!

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