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