When the weather is hot, most elephants enjoy frozen treats. We dilute Gatorade with water, add cut-up fruit, and then freeze them in blocks for the girls.
When it was just Maia and Guida, Maia enjoyed them, but Guida hated them. Guida would throw or kick them away from her, and then Maia would have a treat while she didn’t. After that happened a few times, we stopped giving them popsicles and switched to just plain frozen fruit that they both enjoyed. As our herd expanded, we re-introduced frozen popsicle treats. This year is the first dry season for Lady, Mara, and Bambi, so it has been their first taste of frozen sanctuary treats.
Maia must be channeling her inner Guida because she has been smashing her frozen treats immediately. After she smashes it, she will pick up the little pieces of fruit out of her hay to eat, but she didn’t seem very pleased about it.
It is Rana’s second year with them, so she knows exactly what to do… She shoves them in her mouth as quickly as possible to make sure nobody else gets her popsicle.
Lady seems to enjoy them. She will hold them in her mouth for a while, sucking on it. She also touches them with her trunk frequently while they are in her mouth.
The first time we gave Mara one, she walked right past it. Then she backed up and picked it up with big eyes. We don’t think she expected it to be cold to the touch. She quickly put it in her mouth, but her trunk was very busy. She touched all over her face and mouth in a captivated way. Mara was apparently very pleased with it because after she ate it, she spent time looking around the area to see if there was anything that she missed.
When we gave Bambi her first, she picked it up in her trunk and immediately dropped it. Now she seems okay with certain combinations, but not all of them. Frozen bananas seem to be her least favorite.
Mara tends to be our pickiest eater, so it’s amusing how much she loves them while Bambi (who generally loves food) is more selective about eating them.
Photo of Lady, enjoying a treat.