Lady was content to stay near the barn (and all the other elephants) during the fire. The day after the fire, Lady was ready to leave the smaller yards by the barn. She is an elephant who is clear in her desires, and when she is interested in going into Yard 4, she generally stands in a specific area near the gate and gives us a specific look to let us know. Saturday night, she pointedly stood in that spot, and we understood what she was asking. Even though the fire was extinguished there and everything in the immediate area was already burned, we still weren’t comfortable letting her into Yard 4 just yet. We wanted to give it a little more time to make sure everything was safe.
In the time that Lady has been here, we usually listen to her requests. She seemed a little confused when we ignored her signal. The next morning, Lady went back to the same location. It felt like she was saying, “Do you see me now?” As it had been a little longer, we let her into Yard 4, assuming she was ready to explore and maybe take a swim in the pond.
Surprisingly, she didn’t go that far and stayed fairly close. We don’t know her reasoning– she may have still been feeling a little unsure after the fires or just wanted to hang out in the bushes. Most of the first day, she was in one of her favorite areas with lots of bushes/saplings. She spent about two days alternating between that part of Yard 4 and the woods behind the large pequi tree before heading back to the barn. She didn’t seem unsettled or wary; to the contrary, she seemed happy and spunky.
Since we assumed Lady was going to the pond, we left some hay and late-night goodies near there. Once Lady returned to the barn, we switched and gave Maia access to Yard 4. Later that evening, Kat & Scott returned to the house and remembered all of Lady’s untouched food piles. While we weren’t there to observe, we imagine Maia was quite excited to find all of the hidden treasures. And of course, by the next morning, they were all gone.
Photo of Lady.