A few days ago, Mara was on a solo trip to the barn for dinner. As Mateus and Kairo were setting up the gates so she could head into the smaller yards, Maia showed up and was standing fairly near Mara. They realized that Maia had joined her when they heard Mara squeak. Maia was about 3 fence posts away from Mara, and Mara didn’t have her Bambi “bodyguard,” so we were curious to see how things would unfold. Maia and Mara have touched and were building a relationship before Bambi arrived, but then everything shifted.
Mara did the cute, submissive elephant action of turning her bum toward Maia and squeaking, while keeping an eye on Maia. Mara didn’t appear scared and didn’t walk away. She just decided to stand her ground and see how things went. Maia ended up walking over to Mara, smelling her, and giving her a few small touches on the butt. Again, Mara didn’t leave. The two of them stood together for a few minutes before moving apart again. This is the first time anyone has seen Maia touch Mara since before Bambi arrived. It was lovely to see that Maia was comfortable enough to walk up to Mara, and also that Mara was at ease with their interaction.
When the caregivers opened the gate into the smaller yards, Maia actually walked in first and settled in Yard 3, where Lady had been eating earlier in the day. It’s not unusual for Maia to want to be near feeding areas, as she likes to pick up scraps when others are finished eating. Lady had finished dinner, so she headed out into the larger yards. Mara walked into the yard adjoining Maia, which Kairo and Mateus closed up so she could have the space to herself and eat comfortably in the chute.
After a bit, Bambi showed up to look for Mara. She arrived at Yard 3 where Maia was still cleaning up Lady’s leftovers. Maia didn’t walk away from Bambi – though the gate into the larger yards had been opened for her. Bambi sped right past Maia without a second thought and Maia stayed in the adjoining yard for quite some time. Just another small step toward increasing everyone’s comfort around each other.
Photo of Bambi with Maia in the background