One of the reasons we recently encouraged Lady to spend some time in Yard 5 was the fact that she’d shown a bit of interest in going into Yard 4. At the time, we couldn’t open Yard 4 to her because some of the others were there, and Lady likes to monitor her personal space perimeter fairly closely. But because of her initial interest, we did want to eventually give her access if the opportunity presented itself, which it recently did. One morning, the others were well positioned to be shifted into Yard 5, so we opened the gate for Yard 4 to Lady.
It did not take her long to walk right in and all the way to the back of the yard. She crossed the entire space in about 15 minutes, earning her the nickname of “Speed Racer” from one of our caregivers, Shirlei.
Lady has been a bit quiet in Yard 4, seeming a little more introspective or perhaps not completely at ease. It is possible she smells some of the other girls who were recently there, especially in the area of the pond – so she may be concerned that they are still nearby.
While in Yard 4, Lady has been spending her daylight hours around the pond and exploring more at night. We would like to encourage her to change things up a bit and spend more time exploring during the day so she doesn’t get “stuck”. Our general approach is to let each animal decide what is best and interfere as little as possible. Still, there are times when we can see an elephant who needs a little nudge to slightly change her routine or push her boundaries, so she can keep growing emotionally. Though Lady is not completely sure of herself in Yard 4, we are continuing to encourage her to push that boundary.
Photo of Lady