Things at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil are all good. This morning Karissa did some training with Maia, working on her front foot presentation. We do footwork with Maia, but because of the immediate need for foot care when she and Guida arrived, we sort of skipped past the formal training part. So it’s one of the things we are working on now.
Yesterday everything came together and seemed to click for Maia. There appears to be an ‘Ah-ha’ moment for most elephants when learning new behaviors, and she had hers yesterday. Right now the sessions work for Maia: it helps fill a void, extra food is something she enjoys, and she’s a people pleaser, so she is able to feel a sense of pride at learning something new. This isn’t always the case, some elephants aren’t thrilled with training, and even just earlier in the week Maia didn’t seem to want as much interaction, but right now the timing seems perfect.
Maia did put her right foot up on the bar during her session, but it wasn’t until Scott had stopped recording. Although we like to get things on film, we also want to make sure there’s not something we’re missing in the moment because we’re recording. Instead, we can fully enjoy Maia’s little smile and bright eyes as she showed off the new thing that she learned.