Lady has had a much softer vibe surrounding her lately. She also appears calmer and has been gentler in interactions with others, and is more engaged and connected to us during treatments.
For instance, Kat has been the primary person to administer foot treatments to Lady out in the habitat. Scott has recently been working with her more and Lady has been exceptional and responsive. When she is most comfortable she makes the effort to lift her foot above the higher fence bars, and she has been presenting it readily to him, even making gentle rumbles along the way.
She spent a couple of days exploring Yard 5 again recently. This time, Lady traveled into unexpected territory. Perhaps she felt drawn to go a different way because of her increased self-confidence. She ended up across the creek in an area where only Maia generally passes over (though not in the spot where Maia makes her adventurous slides). This is not an easy trail; it’s quite steep in places and a challenging trek. Lady surprised us by coming back across the creek in the same way, which is an even greater undertaking than the initial crossing.
We don’t always understand why elephants make the decisions they do, but watching Lady go into harder terrain is fascinating. Two days later, she went back across a different part of the creek via her usual path and into the middle of nowhere in Yard 5. Her wanderlust seems to continue, even though her foot pain is present. Perhaps her calm frame of mind is allowing her to face more of her mental and physical challenges head on and with a new outlook.