Facebook Live With Scott and Rana

We finally had the opportunity to film a live Facebook video as the prize for #TeamRana – the winners of our Giving Tuesday: Room to Roam fundraiser from November, helping to raise funds for the expansion of the female African habitat. Rana is so rarely within range of cellular reception – but we were lucky enough to have her all to ourselves for a few moments this afternoon. 

Rana stopped by the barn, seemingly interested in a bit of foot trimming. At one point, she even puts a foot on the bars as if to ask for it. You get the opportunity to hear some vocalizations, see lots of happy ear flaps, plus she plays in the water and gets a watermelon treat. 

If you would like to contribute toward the Room to Roam fundraiser, we are still raising funds for that project. Click here for more information. 

P.S.: At one point, Scott mentions the “Power Puff Girls.” For those who don’t know, that is our nickname for the threesome of Rana, Mara, and Bambi.


  1. REPLY
    Carol says

    This was fabulous. Such a lovely visit with our Rama! Thanks so much, Scott and Kat!

  2. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Sublime video! There’s a reason Ms Rana won that contest 🙂 Loved the quietness with background sounds and Ms. Rana’s flappy-happy ears (they sound like sails on a sailboat, in a bit of breeze!)
    Thank you so much for sharing this 🙂 So glad the fundraiser was a success!

  3. REPLY
    June Ross says

    Loved seeing how she uses her trunk to break up the watermelon. Amazing!

  4. REPLY
    June Ross says

    Could not hear you speaking very well Scott….BUT…I sure did love watching our Rana.

  5. REPLY
    Alana says

    She is just perfect, beautiful skin, face & those freckles. To see her so at peace & healthy is such a treat. Thanks, it was a clip worth waiting for.

  6. REPLY
    Sandi Paquet says

    I’m confused, is this “Rana” or is it “Hana”?? You’re showing the name Rana, but saying Hana; is that how you say her name, with an “H”? Anyway, what a great video, thanks for sharing.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      It can be confusing. Her name is spelled with an R, but is pronounced “Hana.”

  7. REPLY
    John says

    Loved the video. The most interesting part was Scott talking about how elephants react when they first realize humans are actually listening to them. Absolutely fascinating. Thank you!

  8. REPLY
    Marcia Brixius says

    In reaction to Scott saying that the elephants are “visibly intrigued” when realizing that humans are actually listening to their communications, I would like to hear a few detailed examples in your blog about these actual responses and what this “intrigue” looks like. How do the elephants behave to express this surprise that makes you all aware of their intrigue and happiness to be “heard” by humans?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      A lot of it is subtle, and that’s where the decades of experience with elephants comes in – being able to recognize all the slight changes that go on. An example of this would be an experience we had at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee: there was an elephant who, at her previous zoo, had frequent colic issues. Shortly after her arrival at sanctuary, she had a small episode and was given a natural supplement as a first step, to see if it helped with her discomfort. Though it wasn’t full-blown colic, you could tell she had a stomach ache. She responded favorably to the medication. A couple of days later, you could tell that she wasn’t feeling 100%, and we offered her the medication again, which she was much more open to receiving the second time. She was already more trusting in our approach with it. A couple of days later, she had another episode, but instead of waiting for someone to notice, she walked right up to the front of the stall and did the posturing she normally did when she had a belly ache, almost as a way to tell us that she needed medicine. She seemed to know we would understand her communication. We gave her the medicine and she felt better. (This actually ended up being a result of overgrown teeth, which was remedied with a diet change.)

      Many elephants live for so many years in circumstances where their subtle communications are not picked up on. We have found that the elephants seem to start to communicate much more once they realize they are being listened to. Sometimes after arriving at sanctuary, they see that people are picking up on the smaller things – so they appear to start communicating more of those smaller things. Elephants like Lady used to lash out at anything that displeased her because she was accustomed to people in her past not paying attention to the signs she was offering. If you look at her, what she is trying to communicate is evident, but subtle. You have to pay attention. So she doesn’t hit her head against the bars in the same way she used to; she knows that she can change the look on her face and, as long as we are focused on her, we will recognize what she seems to be telling us. There is a whole gamut of things she can do now to show how she feels that are much more subtle. If you don’t know elephants, you probably wouldn’t notice those things.

      Those are things that reflect much more solid relationships with their caregivers and an increased level of trust. For the elephants, that’s part of living in a more safe space. They might feel like they can open up in other ways and perhaps begin to work on their own personal issues because of their surroundings.

      That’s perhaps a bit of a long answer, but I hope it addresses your question.

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