Last night was the first night that Maia and Guida have spent together, off chains, in decades. Scott and I are sleeping at the barn right now so we can tell you, it was a night full of talking, talking, talking, talking.
Elephant Vocalizations- Turn your volume up!!
This video was made from an audio file we took with our phone. This was the second night Maia and Guida were at sanctuary, but the first night they spent together. Because it was so late when they were both unloaded after arrival, we kept them separated for the night. This was mostly due to the fact that we had been told Maia has been aggressive with Guida in the past, including knocking her down. We wanted the girls to have the opportunity to rest after their trip and to start fresh in the morning.
We let them in with each other the next morning and they did amazingly well. One small moment of hesitation on Guida’s part, but that was it. They smelled each other and touched all over and stayed very close. We then gave them access into the habitat, which also went very well, with Guida leading the way (her first hint of wanting to take charge.)
That night we allowed them access to the barn and the habitat, but both girls chose to come inside. Scott and myself were sleeping at the barn, just to keep an eye on things. It didn’t take long after shutting the lights off that the girls started making quite the racket. Scott got up to make sure these noises were indeed positive ones. As with most things elephant, there is no black and white. A trumpet can be a very joyous sound, but it can also be made out of fear.
He went over and the girls were still embracing each other, sticking their trunks in their ears and touching all around each other’s heads, all while chatting away. He encouraged their behavior for a moment, then laid back down. Wonderfully enough (not necessarily for our sleep) the girls continued to vocalize throughout the night, ever half hour or hour. After almost 40 years of performing, 5 years on chains, and never having a healthy or affectionate relationship with each other, it seems they were making up for lost time.
After a night of chatter, Guida decided the first thing she needed to do when we woke up was to go take a nap right outside of the barn.
These girls are phenomenal.