We’re only a couple of weeks into mango season, and have begun collecting crates of them so we can share some of our abundance with the animals in the area. Once several crates have been collected, they are put on the back of a 4-wheeler and two caregivers head off down the hill – one driving and one just lobbing mangoes into the grass and out of the habitat. This way the wild tapirs and other animals who don’t come into the yard looking for fruit will still get to enjoy some mangoes.
The caregivers will also toss some mangoes randomly into the habitat when they go out to clean the yards. These are surprise mangoes that aren’t put into the elephants’ treat buckets, so finding one is like an actual prize in an unexpected place. Well, a nice surprise for those who like mangoes, at least.
The elephants who enjoy mangoes are also the girls who like jackfruit. Lady, Maia, and Rana love them; Bambi turns her nose up to them; Mara isn’t a fan. Each day, treat buckets are put together for each elephant and Mara’s is very carefully measured out. Some caregivers put mangoes in Mara’s crate and, not only does she not eat them, but she actually seems a bit displeased at the offering. Soon the scent of overripe mangoes will take over the sanctuary and we will be ready to wish the season goodbye. But we are always excited when mangoes appear again each year, for a little while at least.
Photo of Maia not hesitating to snack.