Though Rana can be near-angelic at times, introducing her to a new caregiver isn’t always simple. If you’re clear with her and mentally and emotionally present with her during treatment sessions, she will let you do nearly anything for as long as you need. But if you don’t “see” all of her, and what she is capable of as an elephant, she isn’t quite as cooperative.
She’s currently working with a new caregiver who has experience with some of the other elephants. He’s very watchful of her posture and her body movements, which is a quality that can be hard to find – so it’s nice to have someone there who has that level of awareness. The primary thing he’s working on now (which can be more complicated than it seems) is what you might call “casual” communication with elephants. As you may have seen in some of our videos, we just talk to the elephants in a normal, conversational tone. It can take some time to get used to saying things like, “Your trunk is in the wrong place, so I’m backing up,” or “I’m not comfortable with what you’re doing.”
Perhaps because it’s obvious how hard he’s trying to earn her trust, Rana almost seems to want to be extra good in her Rana way – which might mean a cheeky grin or a little squeak. The dynamics are evolving and the two are gradually learning more about each other in a genuine way.
Photo of Rana
P.S.: Episode 11 of the Global Rumblings podcast premieres today. Learn what it was like to prepare the sanctuary for its first residents – Guida and Maia.