Lady and Rana continue to spend time almost daily on opposite sides of the fence watching each other. Rana is usually very close to the fence and, while Lady is coming closer, she is still making sure she isn’t quite close enough to touch or be touched. Lady seems comfortable with this distance as a new normal.
They’re developing a pattern – when Rana starts walking towards her, Lady will quickly step back. Once Rana settles in along the fence, Lady goes back and stands about 10-15 feet (4-5M) from Rana and they will observe each other for a little bit. Eventually, Lady will walk away to get a drink, but then returns to the shared fence line to watch Rana, who is usually still just patiently waiting and they watch each other a little more.
You can almost see Lady thinking it through, and processing what is happening. This may seem like a tiny step not worth celebrating, but, for her, this is an incredible step.
Lady is still new enough that we check on her daily at night (around 10pm or so). Recently, when Kat went out for Lady’s last check, Maia was nearby; along an adjoining fence line, which is another huge first. They were pretty close to each other, and both of them were very calm. We don’t normally see Maia close to the barn at night, and we haven’t yet seen another elephant come to check on Lady at night.
As many of you remember, when she arrived six weeks ago, she would run away and wouldn’t come back if another elephant approached her. She seemed scared and nervous and didn’t have the confidence to approach another elephant – perhaps due to a past trauma we know nothing about.
Consistently getting this close to another elephant is such a huge deal for her – and we are making sure she knows we how proud we are and how brave she is. We don’t have any great pictures of Rana and Lady watching each other through the fence, but here is a photo of Lady, well, being Lady, and you can see some of this newfound confidence shining through.
January 9, 2020
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