Lady and the Itchy Scratchy Tree

Over the past couple of months, we have seen a few severe storms come through the sanctuary. All of the elephants have been safe, even seeming to enjoy the heavy rains, but straight-line winds have done damage to some of the trees around the habitat. 

Last week, yet another storm front hit us and, again, the winds were not so kind. The “Itchy Scratchy Tree” took a bit of a beating. She’d been blown around a bit a few months ago and lost a large branch, but otherwise seemed to bounce back. This time, the tree wasn’t quite as lucky. Though she is still standing, she’s now down to half of her original canopy. Though we know the Itchy Scratchy Tree is a favorite of the elephants (and all of you), there are plenty of trees throughout the habitat that the elephants use when they need a good scratch. Whatever happens to this tree, there are many more to love. But for now, she is still with us, although providing less shade than she did just a few days ago. 

Here, you can see Lady snacking next to the tree and enjoying the afternoon.


  1. REPLY
    John says

    Oh thank you so much! 3 days without a post about my favorite elephant goings-on. I was having severe withdrawls.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Sometimes Lady is off in the wild parts of sanctuary, so we don’t have as many opportunities to share about her. But we take advantage of every moment when she is comfortable being filmed or observed.

  2. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    When I remember Lady before Sanctuary – a dejected, despondent, depressed head-against-the-wall figure of absolute misery – to this ebullient, contented creature at peace with her surroundings and able to choose where and when she wants to be in Sanctuary, I am dumbfounded at her transformation. You go, Lady! ❤️
    Scott, Kat & team: thank you for devoting your lives to this complex and difficult venture. You are making a huge difference. ❤️

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      She is a wonder, isn’t she? She’s done so much work to heal.

  3. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    And our Lady is still so content and happy! All is right in her world! Thank you for caring about us worrying about that tree!!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We know people love the tree, but care about the elephants much more. 😉

  4. REPLY
    Wim says

    What a pity all trees are magical.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      For the moment, she’s still standing. But there are so many gorgeous trees here to enjoy and celebrate.

  5. REPLY
    Anita J says

    I came across the term of itchy-scratchy tree in your posts and thought it was the sweetest, cutest thing ever! And when elles rub their sweet bums on those trees it must be the cutes viewing…very very heart warming…such a happy, care free and full of enjoyment activity! Only watching videos with bears doing the scratches on trees gives me the same amount of pleasure! I could watch Lady all day long!! Love her to bits….xoxox

  6. REPLY
    Julie says

    Lady touches both felled branches between :10 and :20 as if on queue. Hmmmm….makes you wonder how much they really do know, right?

  7. REPLY
    Carey says

    Bad news these extreme winds! At least you’re not flooded like some other states!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Many suffered from flooding and fires this year. We consider ourselves very lucky.

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