Rana and Mara Meet Bambi!

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.

October 5, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    The last sentance made me laugh out-loud ! 🙂

  2. REPLY
    Carol says


  3. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Oh my goodness I’ve been waiting for Rana and Mara to meet Bambi! So glad it was a positive interaction! So happy Bambi’s inner wild child is coming out!

  4. REPLY
    Patricia Aguilar says

    For some reason I thought Bambi was a smallish elephant, but here you can see that she’s bigger/taller than Rana & Mara.

  5. REPLY
    Elisa says

    She love the other sanctuary elephants! she squeezes her belly at te fence trying to get closers! Where is the traumatized bambi that couldn’t even hear Maison? Soooooo happy for her! Cant wait for Bambi Maia Mara and Rana to be sharing the same space, without fences in between.

  6. REPLY
    Barb says

    Love this I only wish Lady would like to join in ?????????

  7. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Loved the comment at end of post saying Bambi “becoming a bit of a WILD CHILD”. Loved reading that!!!!

  8. REPLY
    Sallie says

    The Elephant Welcoming Committee has arrived! YIPPEE! Gotta love that happy, energetic girl Bambi, and Maia is so sweet to greet her with such affection. A good example for Rana and Lady, that they can all be “Las Cuatro Amigas”. This is such a special vid. Thank you! Cannot wait for more encounters!

  9. REPLY
    Alana says

    Seems like they ‘re getting a herd mentality going. So good to see.

  10. REPLY
    Bo says

    …tears tears tears…
    Tears of watching those interactions, listening to their sounds, watching the body language.
    I am sure we are all wondering so much what it all means, what they are ‘saying’ to each other.
    One thing I think is pretty clear: friendship is in the sisterhood air!!

    Bambi seems sooo happy to meet Rana and Mara.
    Mara and Rana are welcoming Bambi in the most lovely way, oh dear, here come the tears again.
    This is what we all were hoping for!
    So glad to read about Maia and Bambi hanging out.
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful moments!

  11. REPLY
    Maria Villa says

    This is one of the best moments of my life. I am entirely grateful happy, hopeful for this little Herd, I know Lady is still by herself, however, this is more than she had prior, and more is to come, on her timing, because this is her Sanctuary. You got this Lady-Bug Bambina.

  12. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    I wish all circuses and zoos could see what elephants a really like and how they blossom when free.

  13. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    A beautiful sight to see this interaction. As usual as l, I find myself smiling ear to ear with each update. Wild child Bsmbi!!! Love it!♥️?

  14. REPLY
    arie says

    What a marvelous dream encounter between Mara, Rana and Bambi; so calm and friendly! The high squeaking broke my heart, though, so intensely emotional it made me cry… again :’-)

    Isn’t it safe yet to open the gates between them or is it still too soon?

    I ‘d love to see all the girls strolling through the yards together ?❤️

  15. REPLY
    Carey says

    Really amazingly beautiful. I;m so glad that Bambi is so soon open to meeting everyone in protected contact, you must be thrilled. Seeing their lives at night is essential viewing no? Really hope the rains come soon soon for you all.

  16. REPLY
    Julie says

    Bambi seems so happy. My guess is she can’t believe her good fortune to be where she is. I’m so happy for her. Thank you GES!

  17. REPLY
    Marc says

    So wonderful that Bambi is making friends with the other Elephants. Really cool to hear them communicating with each other. So happy for Bambi starting her new life at the Sanctuary

  18. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    This is so exciting and tear-jerking! I can’t stop watching and I can’t stop crying!

  19. REPLY
    AudreyD says

    Bambi is finally is a good, loving place. It appears that she has been accepted by Mara & Rana. How awesome is that? Too come so far from being afraid to go out and now she’s enjoying that freedom again.
    I’m totally in tears for she have found a wonderful, loving home. Thanks You. ❤️

  20. REPLY
    Lila Nieto says

    Wow, how they unravel once in sanctuary. So, Bambi the wild child, Rana is the wisest coolest thing ever, Mara the happy chick, Maia the pond blob, and Lady the spirit.
    This video is like an elephant fairy tale, like exactly what I like, need, to see. Totally my happy place.

  21. REPLY
    Paula says

    Ver a las damas así…es sentir que se les está devolviendo la familia que les quitaron en su niñez!?
    Son tantas décadas de vivir en soledad, esto es realmente un milagro!

    • REPLY
      Renee' Killian-Zeiger says

      I can NEVER get enough of the extended rumbles! My eyes widened and then I break into laughter! I can’t even begin to imagine what those rumbles are like in person!

  22. REPLY
    Lynne Russert says

    Super exciting!!!

  23. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Oh, I’m so glad the elephants have met each other and all seem well. I was concerned about Bambi because she had a hard time of it with the elephant at the zoo not liking her and they didn’t get along with each other. I sure do hope these relationships work out!

  24. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    How Bambi’s life has changed! “A bit of a wild child” indeed. John Keat’s poem came to mind immediately when I read those words:
    “I met a lady in the meads,
    Full beautiful – a faery’s child”!
    This is Bambi, our real faery’s child, full of excitement and living her childhood again as it was meant to be.
    What a wonderful meeting with her new sisters. Rumbles, squeaks and trumpets. As Lila said,” it’s like a fairy tale” …..with a happy ending.
    Can’t wait for the next post!

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