Cold Weather is Moving In

As we are moving later into the year, the weather has been starting to cool off a bit. Generally, we don’t have multiple cold days in a row; chilly days are usually followed by a cloudy morning and a warmer afternoon, when the sun comes out. The temperature rarely drops below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C), but we recently had two nights in a row that were that cool, which is a bit unusual. 

When the sun comes out after a brisk evening, the elephants absorb its radiant heat and store it in their core, which helps keep them warm if there are multiple cool days in a row. After one of those particularly cold mornings, the sun didn’t make its appearance until much later in the day than anticipated – and it only stuck around for about 2-3 hours. That meant that the air was still fairly windy and cool, so the girls never got quite as toasty as they normally would. 

The next morning was very sunny and bright, but still a bit on the colder side, so Scott went into the habitat early to get the girls some extra food and encourage them to get moving. Mara, Bambi, and Rana were sleeping deep in the bushes. On cold nights, they will find warm pockets in the habitat; there are usually some little compartments of air deeper in the brush that stays a bit warm, even on really chilly nights. It didn’t take much coaxing to get them into the sun, particularly because food was involved. All three seemed ready to warm up, but had bright looks on their faces. 

Maia was in Yard 4 and Lady was in Yard 2, and the two of them both got some extra food – calories to warm them up – and seemed light and ready to go. It’s currently warming back up again. The weather is getting back to it’s normal routine and tomorrow we expect it to be back in the mid-80s F (30 degrees C). Everyone here (even the humans) will warm back up again in anticipation of another quick cold snap. And the cycle continues. 


  1. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Your posts really bring us to Sanctuary! I feel like it is familiar to me – the sounds, sights and smells, the daily activities, each of the girls particularities, as well as the other animals there…I wish we could visit. I understand why you can’t allow that. And I so appreciate all your stories and vignettes! ❤️

  2. REPLY
    Bill says

    I don’t move much when it is cold outside and snacks help. Heck, I get grumpy when the temperature drops below 70 degrees F.

  3. REPLY
    Barb says

    Does that mean I can have extra food to help keep me warm as the girls do? Just kidding of course but I can definitely see the need for the girls to have that extra good food when there is a chill in the air.

  4. REPLY
    Julie says

    Please let us know if you need help building some heated barns or even some elephant-sized blankets!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We actually do have a heated barn and tarps we can put around if it gets really chilly. But they are fine unless it gets very cold. It almost never stays cool here for more than a day and their bodies hold heat for that long and keeps their core temperature warm. Also, unless we watched them all night, they’d never wear blankets for long. They’d be on the ground pretty quickly!

  5. REPLY
    Beji says

    Whether sunny or cloudy, cool or warm, they get to wake up every morning in the habitat instead of a concrete box. Life is good, indeed.

  6. REPLY
    Anita Janusz-Wong says

    Thank you for that! I was just wondering what kind of weather you guys get there! All elephants are from either tropics in Asia or hot continent in Africa. But it looks like it does not get too cold at all, and even with small temperature drops they cope well. Didn’t know there is a heated barn! I do not think I ever saw a glimpse of it on any videos. Just the covered enclosures mainly where the ellies arrive and are off loaded. Those small enclosures are there for them to rest and get used to new sounds, smells AND companions….:-)

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      There are heaters and chutes in the barn. That is where Mara eats and Lady sometimes gets her foot treatments done – and the rest of them all receive medical treatment and checkups there, too. Definitely plenty of space should it ever get too cold. But we don’t expect it to!

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.