Day 4: Morning With Bambi at the Zoo

One step forward.  A few steps back.

This morning, when Bambi was inside the transport container, we briefly closed the gate behind her. Closing the elephant in for brief amounts of time is the typical next step in the process leading up to transport. Bambi became concerned when the doors closed, so we opened them back up quickly. Once the door was open again, she backed into the far corner of her stall and started hiding. Bambi isn’t interested in leaving her stall or approaching the crate at this time. This is the same behavior we saw when we first arrived when she hadn’t left her stall in several days.

During the few days we’ve spent here, we’ve seen her demonstrate more confidence, show that she was feeling good, and move forward steadily. Yesterday, we played with the door while she was in the crate throughout the day. Each time, she would back out and re-enter.
Her retreating to her corner and not leaving demonstrates how fragile elephants can be after all the trauma they endure during their lives of captivity. Sometimes, it is one step forward and five steps back. That’s okay.

We are respecting her decisions and her process. We support her and what she needs, even if what she needs is a few hours in the back corner of her barn, hiding from everyone. We are using essential oils and flower essences to support her. We can delay the trip if we need to – it is all up to her. Everything is on her time. We are showing her that her voice matters to us. We are seeing what resonates with her, in terms of both herbal support and people.

We will keep moving forward and making sure Bambi realizes that we hear, support, and honor her.

Please visit her Rescue Page for additional information, photos, videos, and her travel map (it will be updated once they get on the road).

September 21, 2020



  1. REPLY
    Susan Flewelling says

    So heartbreaking that she has been treated so negatively over her life that she has absolutely no trust – you are so kind and have such patience that she will eventually realize you’re on her side. It’s the getting there that is difficult. She has no idea of the wonderful life – be it long or short – that she has waiting for her just down the road.

  2. REPLY
    bo says

    Love that the entire elephant team always try and see it from the elephant’s point of view!!!
    Love the patience and love the love and caring you all give to these sweethearts!

    You can do it miss Bambi!

  3. REPLY
    MARCELA says

    Gracias por amrlos, cuidarlos y por sobre todas las cosas Respetarlos. Estoy muy feliz qué ella pueda ir al Santuario con ustedes. ??

  4. REPLY
    arie says

    Oh, sweet sensitive darling Bambi, so stressed out!
    Who knows what she has been through during her life as a circus elephant, poor girl.

    I bet French fries will bring comfort. ?❤️

  5. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    It’s going to take time and I’m glad she’s given just that to adjust. She will be so happy at ESB once she adjusts and feels safe. Thank you for caring for them all. Hello Maison!

  6. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    I guess it’s all up to Bambi and how she feels. We all want the best for her. She has a two day journey ahead so she has to feel happy about being enclosed. As always, Scott shows so much empathy and compassion.
    Sending love to all. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  7. REPLY
    Wim says

    Thank you Scott for in depth analysis about the difficult situation of BAMBI. She’s a very sensitive Elephant and needs time to find trust in changing situations. Overall painful to see how beautiful creatures are traumatized by wrong human behaviour. Will take much energy and patience to make the necessary steps for her ride to freedom. I’m as always impressed with your approach of each problem and awed with the respect and love you share with everyone of the giants.

  8. REPLY
    Ann-Marie Jacobs-Brown says

    I get so angry when I hear of what humans have done to these wonderful beings. The destruction of innocence, the brutality to get compliance from these great beasts, the way the mahouts/handlers control through fear. To me, it is such an abomination, a sin, against everything natural. I see their broken spirits, their total lack of understanding WHY this nightmare, this hell on earth, has been handed out to them. Every part of me gets wrung out at the injustice. We need fair play at every turn in this world to survive, and when it is taken away, absolutely everything gets out of kilter. No wonder Bambi is suspicious. She’s wondering what devilish cruel trick is coming next. Look at the terrible damage done to Lady, both physically and mentally. I just get enraged. And then deeply sad. I’m not being impatient but I can’t wait for Bambi to reach ESB, for her sake. She’ll be left in peace to adjust to her new life and will slowly begin to recognise love – and, I pray, begin to experience happiness for the first time since being wrenched from her mother and herd 50 odds years ago. What a crime done to her!.

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