Mara and Rana have been spending most of their time near the barn for the past few weeks. We usually discourage staying near the barn for more than a few days, but with Mara’s continued intermittent appetite, we have been encouraging her to eat more than we encourage her to wander.
Maia doesn’t spend time by the barn very frequently, but she likes to stop by periodically. She seems to enjoy having time in the medical treatment chute -and the treats she receives while she’s in there. With Mara and Rana spending so much time near the barn, Maia has been seeing them less frequently.
Maia recently stopped by the barn for the day and shared Yards 1 & 2 with Mara and Rana. At first, Maia walked past them to eat all the food scraps in the yard. Once the yard was sufficiently “cleaned,” she spent some time in the mud wallow in Yard 1. That’s one of her favorite mud wallows, and it’s also one of our largest. While visiting the barn, she also went inside the treatment chute for positive attention and cranberries. By encouraging her comfort with the chute, she will be content to enter if any medical issues arise requiring it.
As the afternoon progressed, she began showing more interest in Mara & Rana. Maia and Rana spent time together, touching and acting a little silly. It was a noisy afternoon, and Mara made her repertoire of exciting vocalizations. The three spent a lot of time near each other. All three seemed pleased with social time. It’s good for Maia to have time with other elephants. When she shares Yard 4 or 5 with them, she will spend varying amounts of time with them – sometimes twenty minutes, sometimes a few hours. Maia will also spend her time visiting other areas within the yard and isn’t with them all the time. She seems to like spending time with the others even though she doesn’t always want to be with them. Even though they aren’t best friends or joined at the hip, their relationship is still significant to each of them. It’s important to Maia emotionally to spend time with them. It seems to feed her soul.
Photo of Maia (front left), Rana (middle, behind Mara), Mara (right)
November 10, 2020