Lady Is in Her Bushes


After Lady’s arrival, one of the first things she did in the habitat was to stand in a clump of bushes and have a party of one. It was the first time she had access to shrubs (or trees) for at least six years, and it was a pretty cute reaction. She would kick them and vocalize – Kat referred to it as “fighting” with the bushes.

Almost nine months later, standing in bushes is still one of her favorite places to be. There’s an area of Yard 4 (near Yard 3) that is very scrubby. She loves to walk in the middle of it and stand contentedly. When she’s there, we find ourselves saying, “Lady is in her bushes” rather than “Lady is in the bushes.” It’s a frequent stop for her on her way to anywhere in Yard 4, including the pond.

She seems to prefer bushes that are just a little bit taller than her. It’s not the shade – we have many forested areas with better shade (and the cooler temperatures that come with a better canopy). She likes to touch them, but she also seems to like it when they touch her body. It appears to be tactile for her.

As a protected contact facility, unless the elephants are already standing along a fence, we don’t feed their meals exactly where they are. We will make sure they are heading toward the 4wheeler; then, we will set down their dinner and drive further away. They will walk up to their dinner and start eating. This technique keeps us a safe distance from them in the habitat, but it also means that we frequently choose a spot to feed the elephants. If it’s the rainy season and the sun is poking out, we try to feed them in the sun. In the dry season, when there is too much sun, we try to feed them in the shade.

With Lady, we try to feed her in the bushes when possible. When we can find a conveniently located dense spot, we feed her so that she can eat with bushes touching all four sides of her body. It’s something that seems to resonate with her, and, as everyone knows by now – nothing makes our team happier than making the elephants happy.

Photo of Lady, standing in bushes, looking pleased.

August 5, 2020



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  1. REPLY
    Julia Mercedes Eden says

    How truly amazing a story about tactile Lady. It really fits with her background as you surmised . I adore ? the fact that she loves to be touched by her bushes even while she eats. Precious Lady ❤️ I can’t believe 9 months have passed already since the emotional rescue and arrival of Lady with Scott to Global Sanctuary Elephants, Brazil. I recall it so vividly. Love to you all ❤️???

  2. REPLY
    Paula says

    Muy feliz saber que Lady disfruta tanto de “los arbustos de ella”. Ellos crecieron ahí para ella!
    Sí, ustedes demuestran todo el tiempo que lo que más les hace felices es hacer feliz a los elefantes ?
    Corazones amorosos, generosos, solidarios,empáticos… de una nobleza pocas veces vista en otras personas ❤ Muchas gracias por eso!

  3. REPLY
    Heidi says

    She’s so cute!

  4. REPLY
    Barb says

    Such a sweet account of Lady in her bushes! Actually it makes me a little tearful but happy too that she finds comfort in her bushes and how kind that you try to find a spot there for her to eat.

  5. REPLY
    Lila Nieto says

    It always amazes me how you can make me feel so “in there” while I am thousands of miles away, so part of this heaven even though I might never see it in person. We are all witnesses of the healing process of each elephant, and we know them through all these super detailed, funny, expert and heart-warming daily entries. Thank you so much.

  6. REPLY
    Wim says

    From bush baby to bush LADY.
    You’ve walked a long hard road giant friend.
    How wonderful you know now how to enjoy and be one with your nature. ???

  7. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    Sweet Lady. Could it be the bushes make her feel secure from predators or humans? Whatever makes Lady feel happy, secure and contented is a good thing!

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      It seems to be a tactile thing, she responds most to them actively touching her skin.

  8. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    I love her squishy face!

  9. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Lady, you are just the dearest girl. It warms my heart so to see you enjoying the bushes. My wish for every captive elephant is that they be able hang out in the bushes or pools or whatever they love outdoors. All my love to you and your humans.

  10. REPLY
    Bo says

    She is one with nature which is the whole purpose of the sanctuary, isn’t it!
    Some animals have never been in the wild yet I think you can’t wipe out that primeval brain, or how to describe it. Instinct and all that.
    And if some captive animals lived in the wild at first, esp with elephants, they might remember things from their pre-captive years.
    Oh I don’t know but I have a strong strong strong feeling that these elephants are just loving the whole nature experience and exploring the area and learning about it all each day&night.
    And all that with the loving caring team adoring them!
    And all the supporters adoring them from around the globe 🙂

  11. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Bless her heart, Lady has found her safe place at ESB. She has settled into her new life, doing her own thing and having her very own Lady place. It’s wonderful that she can roam in so much lush habitat and seek out the places she loves best. Maybe wanting to be in the bushes is a comfort thing, a place of reassurance for her, a place she can go to relax even though she loves to walk around exploring, too.
    That fabulous photo has put a smile on my face. She is so beautiful!

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