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