Nicole and Shirlei Hear a Curious Noise

This week, as caregiver Shirlei and visiting caregiver Nicole were preparing breakfast for the elephants, they started hearing what they described as roaring from the elephants. In Nicole’s experience, that sort of sound likely meant that something was going awry between one or more elephants. Shirlei also seemed concerned because she’d never heard the girls make this sort of noise before. So the two of them headed toward the pond, where Rana, Mara, and Bambi had been seen earlier. Curiously to both caregivers, when they got there, everyone was very rumbly and easy; they were just standing next to each other calmly. 

Scott explained to them that sometimes, when one of those three girls gets separated from the others, someone (oftentimes Bambi) will call out looking for their friend. Essentially, what they were hearing was what often happens at night. Kat and Scott are used to hearing those roaring calls and always wait and listen for the responses that usually come next. That helps give context to the sounds they’re hearing; if happy noises follow the loud call, then things are going as expected. If the other elephants don’t call back, that would be a cause for concern. Because this generally happens in the evenings, Shirlei hadn’t heard the sounds before, which is why she wanted to make sure that all was well among the Powerpuff Girls. 

As Nicole said, “This was one of those good situations that helps me understand more about how nothing with elephants is black and white. Even something like that, this unexpected vocalization – to them maybe it was an emergency because they couldn’t see Rana, but it wasn’t a life-or-death situation where someone might be getting injured. It was a good learning experience for both Shirlei and me.”

Photo of Mara, Bambi, and Rana

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