We’ve been expanding our caregiver team in preparation for the arrival of our new elephant residents. One of our newer caregivers, Kairo, is starting to shadow trained caregivers as they interact with the elephants.
Even though Kairo has been here for several months, he is just beginning to work directly with the elephants. Before a new caregiver ever approaches an elephant, we have them observe from a distance. Each elephant is individual, so it’s essential they understand what is typical for each elephant. For example, while Mara’s pickiness is normal, if we saw Maia exhibit the same selective behavior toward food, it would be cause for alarm.
After explaining this approach to Kairo, he joined Scott for a dinner feed for the first time. As Maia approached from a distance, Kairo asked if her belly was normal. Perplexed, Scott asked for clarification. Kairo replied, “Is it normal how it is sticking out on the sides?” (LAUGHING EMOJIS).
Like humans (and most animals), each elephant holds her weight differently and has a different body shape. Both Rana and Maia are chunky right now, but Rana is very tall and her weight spreads out nicely. Maia is much more compact and her belly is more pointy. Since Maia so rarely goes to the barn, Kairo hadn’t seen her enough to know her body shape is, well, pointy.
Photo of Maia, slightly pointy in the belly, but still perfect in every way
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JoAnn Merriman-Eaton saysMay 20, 2021 at 3:06 pm
Hahahahah! Maia, and her slightly pointy belly.
Katie Howard saysMay 20, 2021 at 3:14 pm
Maia and I, both foodies, and our bellies show it! ?
Carol saysMay 20, 2021 at 3:14 pm
Sue saysMay 20, 2021 at 3:15 pm
Perfect in every way, nuff said, except that all of you at Sanctuary are perfect to me in every way, too. ❤️?❤️
Sara saysMay 20, 2021 at 3:21 pm
Certainly not perfect – but we try our best!
Charlotte Hansen saysMay 20, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Once again, you guys are the best part of my day!!!!!
Ellen Bollinger saysMay 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Maia is compact…lol..perfectly
Margô saysMay 20, 2021 at 6:32 pm
Ah, compacta amada! Nome novo pra minha retroescavadeira predileta! e além de tudo, pontuda! Quando o Kairo a vir dormindo na lagoa vai tomar um susto e tanto! kkkkkkkk
Anita Janusz-Wong saysMay 20, 2021 at 8:46 pm
Hehehehe…our beautiful, perfectly healthy and perfectly shaped ellie….I love her little hair do on the very top…like a brush…xoxoxox
SHEILA saysMay 20, 2021 at 9:45 pm
MAIA. ?UR A LITTLE TANK!! WELL THE NEW GUY JUST HASNT SEEN SUCH A BIG TUMMY TANKER LIKE YOU! ? GREAT UR HAPPY AND CHUNKY MAIA! U R A SWEET CUTIE ALWAYS❤️?❤️ GREAT. PIC!
Bonnie saysMay 20, 2021 at 10:02 pm
That was good I think for asking a question like that even we Humans come in different shapes and sizes
Sallie saysMay 20, 2021 at 11:05 pm
Thanks to Maia, you can tell East from West! (I guess when standing in the right direction.) How true that we are all are so unique & physically different! Chunky & Happy are both good things for the adorable Miss Maia!
Sunny saysMay 21, 2021 at 9:43 am
Yes, that’s Maia ? And she has a square head too ? An unique girl ?
John saysMay 21, 2021 at 1:09 pm
In all seriousness, do you think animals have body image awareness, and therefore, what we would call “issues”?
Sara saysMay 21, 2021 at 3:30 pm
We have never seen any sign that elephants express any insecurities or judgment toward one another for body reasons. Of course we don’t know what they say to each other, but they don’t demonstrate anything of the sort. Even in the wild, elephant herds are so supportive of each other. They don’t have access to the same sort of outside influences that humans do, so it is likely that they have never considered that differences like that would be out of the ordinary.
Carol Anderson saysMay 21, 2021 at 2:44 pm
That was very observant of Kairo to notice that her belly was different than the other elephants. Good job Kairo. Welcome to the Sanctuary family.
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Maia’s Belly – Unique But Perfect