We sometimes refer to Maia as being “all over the place,” and we mean that pretty literally. Maia is our only elephant with no physical limitations. Rana has her fused elbow, Lady has her feet issues, and Mara has a wrist deformity. But even by general elephant standards, Maia zooms. If she perceives breakfast is late, she will just walk to the barn to look for her meal, without any regard to the distance she has to cover. No matter what her location, it takes her just a little while to pop over, looking for breakfast. She’s just fast!
One recent day, Maia started the morning across the creek in 4 – in the furthest back pasture. A little while later, she had crossed back over the creek and was playing in the mud wallow. There, Maia spent some time with Rana and Mara. By dinnertime, she was next to Yard 1 (which is where Lady was). Immediately after she finished eating, she was off and running again.
Another day, Maia began her day near the barn but pretty quickly headed into Yard 5. By the time we went to drop off breakfast, she had walked through 5 and cut through Creeky Alley Gate to be in 4. When we were out for morning treatments, she was by the mud wallow in Yard 4. She ended up by the Square (where Yards 1, 2, 4, & 5 meet) for her bug spray and tick check. Rana and Mara were nearby at that point. After that, Maia was back by the creek near the East end of Yard 4. She showed up near the barn during Lady’s afternoon treatment. By dinnertime, caregivers discovered her in Yard 5.
Typically, when we go out to care for a specific elephant, we start at their last known location. Since we go out frequently to check on the elephants throughout the day, they are often still near the previous spot. Even if they aren’t, many times they moseyed away slowly enough that we find clues (such as dung and footprints) to figure out which way they went. With Maia, most days, if you start in her last known location, you are unlikely to find her… Unless, of course, she was last seen napping in a mud wallow or being a pond blob. In that case, she is generally exactly where she was last seen.
July 23, 2020