Recently, Lady decided she wanted to move from the more dense environment of Yard 5 into Yard 1, near the barn. When she arrived, Maia was grazing in the neighboring yard. Scott thought it might be a good time to do foot soaks with Lady, so he checked to see if Maia was interested in moving farther away into Yard 4 to give Lady some space. Lady can become unsettled in her soaks if there are elephants in the yards near the barn and the treatment chute, since it puts her in a somewhat vulnerable position – so we always want to respect her feelings and keep her as comfortable as possible.
At the time, Maia was enjoying some fresh grass and didn’t appear interested in shifting into a new spot. Lady also seemed content with where she was and started playing in the mud wallow and grazing. Since there was no urgency in doing foot soaks, we thought we would not worry about getting things done at that moment, and just allow them to be. It’s not often that Lady is in one of the yards near the barn at the same time as the other girls, and both Lady and Maia seemed really light and easy.
We like to take the opportunity to encourage the elephants to use the space that’s theirs in a way that is most natural for them. Deciding to interrupt the natural flow of things wouldn’t necessarily be beneficial in an instance like this. If treatment were absolutely imperative, we would encourage Maia to shift yards or do Lady’s treatment along the fence; there are many options. But sometimes it’s nice to give them space and time to enjoy what is occurring in an organic fashion. Even though the two weren’t side by side, they were still in relatively close proximity to one another, which was a nice moment for both of them.
Photo of Lady