Because Ingo is still getting used to the needs and personality traits of each of the elephants, and because he seems to enjoy footwork, we have been dedicating time to each girl’s feet over the past few weeks. Of course, it is still the rainy season – the best time for footwork – which gives us extra incentive to give their feet a good going over.
Our last session with Maia took a slightly unexpected turn, and gave Ingo a peek at her sometimes silly personality. Normally, in the morning, Maia is a sleepy girl. She will often fall asleep when we are doing foot trimming. (We all know how much Miss Maia loves her naps.) But she decided to throw us a bit of a curveball on that particular day. Maia decided she was not in the mood for a nap, and would rather give us the most energetic version of herself possible. Her feet were wiggling, her nose was wriggling all over the place: she was just a total wild child.
After a minute or so of that, Maia decided to switch back into relaxed mode and was very distracted; she wanted her nose held so she could snooze. We worked a bit on her front feet before she woke up again, again in an almost caffeinated state, and a bit unsettled. She went back and forth like this a few times and it became clear to us that this was not the best day to do foot trimming.
Of course, as with all things at sanctuary, we create opportunities to do things like footwork with the elephants. But sometimes, it just isn’t the right day. Although she came over for foot care, Maia didn’t seem to be in the mood for foot trimming and that was absolutely fine. It is rare when things are such a big deal that they need to be taken care of immediately. Maia is living life on her terms and we will follow her lead.
Photo of Maia, deciding how to spend her day