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Mara and Her Refined Palate

Mara is continuing to eat well, which is fantastic. She still is not eating normally, but she is eating a decent amount of foods consistently. She grazes and eats hay at times, but we are still feeding her a good bit of produce daily.

We try to get her to eat several buckets of food at each meal. This picture of the loaded 4-wheeler is just breakfast, which is one of her smaller meals! Two of the grey (stacked) buckets are for Bambi, and one is Rana’s, but the rest are all Mara’s.  Each of the black buckets holds approximately 15 pounds (7 kg) of produce.  She generally eats between 100-130 pounds (45-60 kg) of produce at night feed, the meal when she usually eats the most.  As an elephant, the bulk of her diet should be grass and hay. She isn’t eating quite enough of those items, so we give her significant amounts of supplemental produce to ensure she eats enough.

We’ve been building a walk-in cooler for the elephants to prepare for more arrivals. With Mara’s diet, we are extra grateful we will have additional space for her food soon.

She is still a selective eater – some days, she wants her apples whole; other days, they need to be in half. Some days, she will eat a banana if we give it to her; other days, we need to peel it for her. We feed her cooked rice daily as well, and sometimes she likes to start with her rice and watermelon, and on other days, she won’t eat her rice until the end. Most elephants – including the rest of the ones here – will eat pretty much anything you give them in any order.

We are beginning to observe her eat hay with “normal” size mouthfuls at times rather than her small dainty bites. These large bites make us very happy – hay is the quickest way to put on weight.

At one recent meal report, Mateus laughingly said, “Mara ate everything except the 4-wheeler and buckets!” That day, he cut grass for her outside the fence and handed it to her, and she delightedly ate it.  It’s the same grass that grows on her side of the fence, but it’s always tastier when someone else feeds it to you.

Comments(22)

  1. REPLY
    Melinda says

    So adorable! She reminds me of both my pick eater kids!

  2. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    She’s Great Isn’t She !!! ( :

  3. REPLY
    Bill Simpson says

    Hopefully Mar’s dietary intake will continue to improve. Also, it seems as though she gets bored with a regimented meal plan.

  4. REPLY
    John says

    For a moment I was picturing elephants going into a walk-in cooler on hot summer days…. lol…… just the way you worded that sentence.

  5. REPLY
    Barb says

    Fantastic! I love her colorful foods and wonderful that Mara enjoys eating more. Her selective tastes make me smile!

  6. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    OH DEAR!❤️MARA🐘. IS SURE A CHANGE LADY! KEEPS EVERYONE ON THEIR TOES ABOUT HER EATING ISSUES! THANKYOU ALL FOR BEING CREATIVE WITH HER AND PATIENT!! IM SURE THERE R DAYS SHES NOT COOPERATING TOO MUCH AT ALL! I SURE WISH A SOLUTION TO HER HEALTH ISSUE COULD BE IDENTIFIED AND SHE WOULD RETURN TO NORMAL!! I THOUGHT BAMBI WAS GETTING KINDA THIN RECENTLY! ALSO SO IS SHE GETTING ALOT MORE TREAT TYPE FOOD TOO???

    • REPLY
      sara says

      Getting her to eat just about any food is always a plus. Right now it is best for her to eat lots of hay in order to put on the weight she needs. Produce helps supplement that. She does get treats as rewards, too!

  7. REPLY
    Victoria B says

    That’s why I like restaurants. They bring me my food. LOL

  8. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Love Mara food comments!
    Wish I was picky like she is!
    Haha!

  9. REPLY
    Wim says

    Hope things will keep improving and her appetite will go back to normal.
    🙏🐘

  10. REPLY
    Lori Hoover says

    Aww, Mateus sounds like a sweetie, as well as a hoot.

  11. REPLY
    Julie says

    Thanks for the smile this gave me 😊

  12. REPLY
    Nishant Bhajaria says

    This reads like things are moving in the right direction at least 🙂

  13. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Mara Mara I love it this is so funny I can just picture Mara peel first then I’ll eat it she’s a little stinker

  14. REPLY
    Sallie says

    That Mara is a tester and reader of people! Especially when it comes to food! Such an entertaining personality . . . I get the boredom of a regimented meal plan . . . We vote on this in our house . . . NO REPETITIONS WITHIN A WEEK! I hear ya, Miss Mara!

  15. REPLY
    Beji says

    How precious. Who of us hasn’t had a toddler that loves a certain food one day and the next, they hate it! So glad she’s eating better!

  16. REPLY
    Carol Anderson says

    How do you say “spoiled”?

  17. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Mateus is smart! The grass is always greener… 😃
    So very glad to hear that Mara is eating more! Maybe Maia can give her lessons in eating! 😊

  18. REPLY
    Beji says

    Also, the 4-wheeler looks like a mobile salad bar!! Nothing! beats room service!

  19. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    Beji, you made me smile when you equated Mara to a toddler. But I am all for treating our lovely elephants as toddlers, they have had such a hard life they deserve all the pampering in the world.

  20. REPLY
    Terry Feleppa says

    Hoping this comment will post. Like Mara, since most of my comments don’t seem to post, I stopped trying for a while. Looks like a new comment format, so I’m hopeful…like Mara!

    • REPLY
      sara says

      Please keep posting! We love to hear from all of our supporters.

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