This time of year brings an abundant amount of mangoes, but we also get heaps of jackfruit. It can be a divisive type of fruit; it seems that people either love it or they hate it. It has a profoundly sweet aroma that you can smell from 20-yards away, which lends to the debate. Jackfruit seems to be used more and more often among vegan chefs these days – but we laughingly admit the raw version can be a whole different story for some, including Scott and Kat.
Lady, Rana, and Maia love jackfruit season. In fact, Maia will run toward jackfruit that’s being offered, which can be amusing. We’ve also used it to wake Maia up when it’s time to leave the barn if she is a bit sleepy after footwork. Mara has seemed ambivalent about it; when we offered her some recently, she smelled it, touched it with the tip of her nose, and then pulled away. Bambi is decidedly not a fan. We tried it as a way to coax her out of the transport crate on her first day and she wanted nothing to do with it. These days she acts like it’s not even there and asks for something else.
One of our caregivers, Shirlei, loves it. She will get bunches from the property and fill the 4-wheeler with them. She will ask one of the maintenance staff to help her when the only ripe ones are up very high, so they can knock some of the fruit down. Because Shirlei is so lovely about making sure the elephants have all the fresh food they need, she offers up pieces in their buckets of snacks (and sometimes takes some along to enjoy herself).
All of the other animals here get excited for both jackfruit and mango season. We have one small jackfruit tree near the house, which the smaller animals appreciate – and Shirlei makes sure that Alma, our blind rescue tapir gets her fill as well. No matter what some of the humans think, as long as some of our residents enjoy it, that’s the most important thing.
You can see Maia here enjoying her fruity snack and also Shirlei’s truckload of jackfruit.