Mischief at the New Waterer

The team here just installed the first new test waterer for the elephants in Yard 4. They are sturdy and stainless steel, with float valves that tell the apparatus when to automatically refill the container. It will be handy to have two different water sources – one where the girls can play and get a little messy and one for drinking that stays more cold and pristine. Hydration is important for older elephants and the girls tend to get picky at sanctuary.

Scott and the rest of the workers were unable to wrap up the work once they started, due to the lack of a couple of parts. The unfinished section was on the side facing away from the girls and Scott tied it closed with zip ties and a few other things to protect it overnight. 

As we have learned, however, nothing is ever completely elephant proof. So the three: Mara, Bambi, and Rana (though we suspect Bambi was the instigator) found a project to work on during the evening. Elephants are not only tactile and love exploring things with their trunks, but they can sometimes be a little mischievous and, when they find something they aren’t supposed to be touching, it becomes a project for them to work on. Here – right in front of them – was something brand new, shiny, and a seemingly fun thing to examine. 

So… of course they broke it open. They snapped off the zip ties and other closures and disconnected the fittings and some water pipe that was connected to the waterer, which then created more fun with a giant mud puddle. Nothing important was damaged and it ultimately wasn’t a big deal, but the three of them certainly had a good bit of fun. Of course we shouldn’t be surprised. In all of our years working with elephants, we’ve found that there will always be hijinx, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Photo of Mara, Bambi, and Rana enjoying their fresh new water


  1. REPLY
    Susan Flewelling says

    Lovely to hear they’re having such fun!

  2. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    This made me Laugh out loud !!

  3. REPLY
    Julie says

    Glorious sanctuary freedom to be mischievous! And all’s well that ends well! I’m curious, besides her mischievous and boisterous personality, is there another reason you suspect Bambi to be the ringleader? 😊❤️

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      She sometimes seems to be the ringleader and gets excited at new things easily. It could have been Mara or Rana, but Rana is probably the third choice in line. She’s easygoing, but also has a troublemaking side in there.

  4. REPLY
    Carole Kramer says

    How adorable! I can just see them conniving together to meddle with the new bright shiny thing in their environment! LOL! What a good giggle! 🐘🐘🐘🤣😂💜💜💜☮️

  5. REPLY
    John says

    I wonder how Bambi would feel if she knew she was being accused of leading innocent, naive Rana and Mara astray!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Something tells me she probably wouldn’t be bothered – funny girl!

  6. REPLY
    Andy Ingram says

    Fantastic. We’ll done ladies. Keep the humans under your control. 😊

  7. REPLY
    Alana says

    I think they were just trying to help being the sweet ladies that they are. 🙂

  8. REPLY
    Christine J Strickling says

    Those girls are rascals.

  9. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    How wonderful they get to play with the shiny new thing and make puddles too☺💙🐘

  10. REPLY
    Patricia says

    How wickedly smart they are! 🥰😘🥰😘🥰

  11. REPLY
    Elizabeth Hook says

    Good for them! Elephants should be mischievous. And since I feel like I am an expert on these 5 ladies, Bambi definitely was the instigator. Gotta love that girl’s spunk!

  12. REPLY
    Bill says

    Another reason for girls to have fun

  13. REPLY
    Lori Hoover says

    LOL They have somehow managed to look mischievous with a bit of a “who, us?” innocence as well.
    I’m glad so much fun was had by all.

  14. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    Haha what three mischievous ladies 😂 How observant they are.. I even would bet they have this project planned as soon as they saw you working on it.. just patiently waited for the opportunity haha

  15. REPLY
    Anita J says

    This is a very funny post!! To me, it shows, they are all having a very good life! Stress free, with no pressure of any sort to be only good and do expected things…..good on them all, for investigating the new stuff in THEIR yard! and Bambi’s transformation is truly amazing! I can’t get enough now of watching her enjoying her new home and new little family so much!..:-)))

  16. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    🎶 “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” 🎶. 🐘🐘🐘

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