After spending time together after last week’s visit to the barn, Maia and Rana have had some lovely little moments to themselves. A couple of days ago at the house, we spied two elephants across the creek in Yard 4, which turned out to be Mara and Bambi. Shortly after, we found that Maia and Rana had been enjoying some moments together, just the two of them. They both seemed very light, very mellow, and very peaceful.
As you have seen over the past months, the dynamics between elephants changes – sometimes at a slow pace, and sometimes quickly. Maia’s interactions with the other elephants at sanctuary have ebbed and flowed with her comfort level. After Guida died, Maia often wanted to be on her own – but Rana always made it known that she was there for Maia if that was what Maia wanted. Rana acted as a quiet support system for when Maia needed companionship. Once Maia began to acknowledge the world again, she and Rana built a nice friendship. It was strengthening as Mara arrived.
Once Mara appeared on the scene, Mara and Rana began to spend time together, while Maia went off in her own direction for a while. Maia was beginning to build a relationship with Mara, though Mara was a little insecure around Maia. Bambi’s arrival and her fast friendship with Mara shook up the tentative status quo; Maia has since been working to find her place in the herd, which she appears determined to continue in her own way.
Maia’s journey to friendship with the other elephants has always been on her terms and at her own pace. There are times when she wants affection and wants to be near other elephants. Maia and Rana having this playful time together was a nice opportunity for some moments alone – doing whatever it is they like to do, and saying the things they say to one another that only they know. Maia is getting some of the more tactile forms of affection that she certainly craves from time-to-time, and Rana seems more than happy to oblige.
Maia is on the left and Rana is on the right.