This is Mayson, she is currently living at the “Bosque Zoo”, which is a Botanical Garden. She was confiscated from the circus, and given to the city, where they developed an enclosure for her. Mayson was an interesting elephant. Before meeting her the staff talked about what a good elephant she was, but what we saw had us forming our own opinions. She was compliant, but demanding and had a look in her eyes that was not relaxed, she was somewhat on edge.
The staff was open to talk with us, and at one point we started talking about the qualities we saw in her; even if a facility was to completely disregard our opinion, for our own conscience, we have to let them know our concerns. We talked about her intensity and how we interpreted some of her behaviors, and her keepers thought what we were saying made some of her past behaviors make much more sense. The “good elephant” “bad elephant” labels are really a hard thing for us. So many elephants come with labels from their past that don’t remotely represent who they truly are. But even beyond that, it creates a false sense of how someone should operate around that elephant because of who the keepers think they are.
By no means is Mayson a “bad elephant”, but some adjustments should be made to ensure those dealing with her remain safe and bad behavior isn’t encouraged.
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