Behind the Scenes

Maia and Rana

There is a lot that goes on at the Sanctuary “behind the scenes” to keeps the elephants happy. One of those regular occurrences is habitat maintenance. Even though the Asian Elephant Habitat is many acres, there are still a few spots where the girls spend a significant amount of time, such as the mud wallows, sand piles, and ponds.

Before Mara arrived, we closed everyone out of Yard 4 for a day and performed some maintenance in the area. We used our new tractor to clear the brush along the fence between 4 & 5 and the perimeter of 4 (inside and out). This cleared area provides an additional fire break as the dry season approaches. A trail was also cleared from behind the pond in 4 to the gate leading into 5. We borrowed some dirt from the side of the pond to reline the mud wallow. Even though the mud wallow periodically dries out, it can still get mucky sometimes from use. As a result, we regularly dig out the old bottom and replace it – and the dirt by the pond is the perfect clay to use.

A few days after we completed that work, we closed everyone out of Yard 1. We redid that mud wallow and also welded on a few new bars in the chute for footwork. It’s not exciting work, but it’s essential, and it keeps the land healthy, as well as everything that calls the land home.

As you can see from the photo, Maia approves of the fresh dirt in the mud wallow (that’s Rana in the background).

May 28, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Paula says

    Es tan tierna Maia! ?
    Yo adoro ver a los elefantes en el lodo!
    Se los ve tan felices, disfrutando tanto el momento…❤?
    Son seres maravillosos!

  2. REPLY
    Shirley Taylor says

    Well a girl has to keep her skin beautiful no matter what age she is. I loved the Drone showing how lucky the girls are to have so much to roam in after a concrete area they had before you rescued each one. What a beautiful place to live the songs from the birds the squeaks and rumbles from Mara, Maia, and Rana does Lady ever join in with the rumbles and squeaks?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      Lady was just having a trumpet party the other day while ‘fighting’ with some bushes. The first day she shared a yard with Rana and Mara she was rumbling at them. Her other noise is a raspberry noise, but we don’t hear it often.

      • Sheila says


  3. REPLY
    Sheila says

    Excellent work scott! Fire prevention redoing the ponds too makes sense as ladies could cause the dirt to fill in the pond to be more shallow‼️
    So wonderful for the ladies?! They r so healthy and happy?❤️thank u for all the great worl u do to keep the ladies safe?

  4. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    I never doubted all the work that goes on behind the scenes. Your days have to be filled from morn till dusk and beyond. I guess a labour of love but I hope you get down time, too. The changing seasons likely bring other work to the fore and so the cycle continues. But what you have achieved is incredible. This land has dedicated and amazing caretakers, no wonder the animals are happy.
    Really enjoyed reading this glimpse into how it all works. Bless your hearts.

  5. REPLY
    Lila says

    Excellent work, it’s great to know the new tractor is so useful. I love it. Healthy land, healthy Maia.

  6. REPLY
    Sherry says

    The elephants love their mud wallows! Thank you, GSE, for taking such good care of the elephants. I wish I could be there
    to take care of everyone!❤️???

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