Lady is one curious elephant when it comes to Pocha and Guillermina. A few days ago, she returned to the barn for a third chance to meet the new girls. The first time, Lady walked all the way up to the barn, but the girls didn’t notice her; the second time, she didn’t come as close, hanging out by the mud wallow. Again, the girls didn’t appear to notice Lady, since they are not always in the habit of looking up to see a few feet beyond where they’re standing.
On this third occasion, Lady came back into Yard 1 to graze. Pocha made it clear that she saw Lady this time. Initially Pocha walked away a little, but then turned and walked toward Lady and their dividing fence (keeping about 20-yards between them) and threw her trunk up. It’s a motion that some elephants do to shoo away things. (They do it to the birds right now.) It seems that Pocha didn’t know if she should be protective or defensive. She just didn’t know what to make of Lady.
This seemed to be a sign to Lady that Pocha wasn’t in the mood to chat, so Lady calmly walked away. As we’ve said, even the smallest things at sanctuary are new to Pocha and Guille. They might be sending out confusing signals as well; Lady may have assumed that the two of them saw her on her first two trips to the barn, and were very passive – when they actually didn’t see her at all. Both new girls are learning about this different world in their own time, so their bonds with the other elephants will take time to form and evolve. Time will tell what those relationships will look like.
Photo of Lady, enjoying the sunshine