Though there are videos of the girls playing, swimming and socializing, a big part of sanctuary is this. Simply elephants being elephants. This may not be exciting to some, but we find it mesmerizing to watch them relax, eat and graze.
Palms can be found throughout the property, but we supplement their area because they’re a favorite and we want to maintain the population of them in that area. There is an area we call ‘Sea of Palms’ which is overloaded with overgrown palms, so we take from there, thinning things out to grow a healthier mini forest.
Maia and Guida love their palms, and we’ve been able to use them as a gauge to what is going on with them at times. The girls have shifted whether they eat just the leaves, if they prefer the young palms or if they are in need of the very large, thick, fibrous stalks of the enormous fronds. It’s something we keep an eye on and note when it seems to be about fiber, digestion or teeth.
Rana is also a massive fan of palms, sometimes preferring the two-day-old ones she finds left behind in the habitat. They’re extra crunchy and Laura, our vet, jokes they must be more like potato chips. You can get Rana to follow you anywhere for a couple of palms.