Last week, before Lady began spending time in the male Asian habitat, Kat was taking her some extra snacks in Yard 3 at the end of the night. While Kat was standing there, she heard another elephant close – just on the other side of the fence. So she gave Lady her hay, but saved a little for whomever was nearby.
After leaving the habitat and driving around the corner, Kat could hear the elephant approaching. Since it was already a little dark, it was initially difficult to see who was, but the elephant’s leg swing quickly gave away that it was Rana. That was a little surprising, since Rana had been with Bambi and Mara just about an hour before that, by the pond. The girls that generally break off from the group after dinner are the fast ones, Maia and Guille, because they’re always game for more exploration. So it was a little out of the ordinary to see Rana standing there in that moment. Kat gave her a little bit of hay, said hello, and left her to go about her evening as she so chose.
Late that night Kat and Scott heard a huge to-do, with Bambi putting out a loud call. Mara was also making her typical “err” noises, so most likely it was in response to realizing that Rana was nowhere to be found. After a few minutes Rana called back, so she must have decided to make her return to her friends. We could hear soft rumbles, as the group of girls talked back and forth to one another.
Ultimately, we’re not sure why Rana felt drawn to visit Lady that night, but their ways of conveying information are complex and beautiful. It’s nice to know that she perhaps felt in some way curious about Lady – or simply wanted to say hello to an old friend. We’ll never know, but we never stop being impressed with their seemingly infinite ways of communicating.
Photo of Rana