During Pocha’s recent wanderings into Yard 4, when she briefly lost track of Guillermina, we were doing our best to help reunite mother and daughter. While looking for Pocha, we saw Lady walk up to the fence that separates Yard 5, where she was spending time, from Yard 4, where Guillermina was hanging out with Maia.
Guille’s rear end was near the gate between the two yards and, to our incredible surprise, Lady stretched out her trunk and nearly touched Guillermina. At that very moment, Guille accidentally banged up against the gate, which startled Lady and caused her to back up. Still, this was an exciting moment to witness, as we haven’t seen Lady touch another elephant since she arrived at sanctuary.
When Pocha, Guillermina, and Maia walked past this same spot later in the day, Lady didn’t seem keen on communicating. We’ll be keeping an eye on Lady to see if she appears interested in interacting with the new elephants as time goes on. She often has access to Yard 1 near the barn (sometimes at night if she is still in the area) when Pocha and Guille are in Yards 2 and 3. Some evenings she shows up for their 10 pm feed, and will mosey up to the barn to make sure we know she is there, so she can also get some hay and extra goodies. When the two girls are farther out in the larger yard or at the very back of 3 during the day, she has been comfortable enough to come into the barn for foot soaks and stays calm, but watchful of the surrounding area. (We wouldn’t bring Lady into the barn if Pocha and Guillermina also had access at the same time.) Lady will be the decision maker on how big her comfort “bubble” needs to be with the newest arrivals, but it was intriguing to see how willing she was to seek out physical contact with another elephant – if only for a brief moment.
Photo of Lady