Rana and Mara could hear Bambi’s trumpets and rumbles from their location in Yard 4, and Rana seemed engaged by the sounds. Rana & Mara left the pond in Yard 4 and headed to Bambi, in a much-awaited trek. When they first approached the barn and saw Bambi along the fence, Rana continued to seem very interested, with her ears out and soft rumbles. It seemed like she was going to walk over to Bambi immediately, but then she stopped.
Eventually, they met in the barn. It’s still abnormally hot here – around 100*F (38*C) with intense sun. It’s taking a toll on everyone – elephants, humans, and even the wildlife are noticeably subdued in the heat. Rana and Mara spent most of that day in the shade of the barn. Mara and Bambi did not approach each other, but Rana & Bambi spent some quiet time touching through the bars.
Bambi and Maia have continued to socialize at times. At one point, we saw Bambi and Maia leaning along the fence, facing opposite directions, with their bellies touching through the fence. They were gently touching each other with their trunks. After a bit, they both walked away, seeking shade.
Everybody seemed pleased with their interactions, but there wasn’t much enthusiasm due to the heat.
The temperatures drops each night around 20*F (13*C). Once the sun went down, everything changed. The humans were not around, but everyone could hear a tremendous amount of vocalizations and excitement, so we checked the cameras. Bambi was running back and forth and frequently trumpeting, accidentally knocking down a few small trees in her excitement. Mara came over and was touching Bambi along the fence – it may have been their first touch. There were lots of rumbles, trumpets, and squeaking as well as touching and positive interactions. Rana was near the fence, but standing a little bit back.
The second part of the video here is from a later interaction. It’s more subdued than earlier reactions but still captures their excitement. They seem very bright, with lots of playful and happy interactions between the four elephants. Lady has been in Yard 4 for all of the excitement, but we know that she can hear it.
Even in the heat of the day, Bambi is still running in the barn to see Rana & Mara; and then running outside to be in the yard, and then hanging out with Maia along the fence. She is beginning to be a bit of a wild child, and it’s a beautiful side of her to see.