Rana and the Itchy Scratchy Tree

Maia headed to the barn the other day around lunchtime, which is around the time Rana and Lady are separated for the afternoon most days. We were about to put down hay in Yard 4 for Rana when Maia popped up. We stopped to let them greet each other before dropping hay for Rana (& Maia too, thanks to her impeccable timing).

Rana reacted to Maia’s arrival in a way we’ve never seen before. It wasn’t just a behavior we haven’t seen in Rana, but it’s something we’ve never seen any other elephant do.

She reminded us of a playful kitten – the stereotypical “Halloween Kitty,” all puffed up and walking sideways. She doesn’t have the fur to puff up, but she started walking sideways with big eyes and excitement. She wasn’t startled, it was just as if she was so excited she didn’t know what to do with her body, so it just started going sideways. It seemed to be a submissive behavior, or at least she was submissive while she was doing it. It was hilarious, but we sadly did not get any photos or video.

Once Maia reached her they stood side-by-side, touching tail to trunk for a few minutes while they greeted each other. Maia, of course, put her trunk in Rana’s mouth, and Rana obliged. Once they settled into each other’s company, we dropped hay and watermelon for both Rana & Maia. They stayed pretty close to the fence shared with Lady, so all three spent a few hours nearby.

The video is Rana having quality time in the rain with itchy-scratchy tree.

March 5, 2020

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  1. REPLY
    Carol says

    that is precious beyond words…oh what i would give to see that sideways celebration!!!

  2. REPLY
    Barb says

    Rana looked especially cute and roly-poly at the itchy-scratchy tree. Love the scene!

  3. REPLY
    Sheila says

    well! what a surprising event seeing a very unusual movement like sweet rana made‼️ maybe rana was gesturing” maia. so wonderful to see u! never see u so soon in the day”. nevertheless the tone of the action sounds like it was not anger or fear!? so maybe ur ???ladies have some “dance moves” that r coming out from the circus memories and rana was doing a wee side step dance for maia

  4. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    You could be right, Sheila. Moves like that could be ingrained in their memories. As usual, delightful descriptions of what our lovely elephants do.

  5. REPLY
    Donna Johnson says

    love and more love!!

  6. REPLY
    Lila says

    Rana! As usual, the best thing everrrr. She just rocks!!!
    And, yes, love the descriptions 🙂

  7. REPLY
    Sallie Robbins-Druian says

    The behavior of all 3 Ladies interacting is a Wonderful & Exciting surprise! The build-up from scratching an itch to building more close friendships, fits together PURRFECTLY! What a joy to watch & read!

  8. REPLY
    Anne Morkel says

    Aww, Rana is such a happy Ele expressing her excitement and joy at seeing her friend! Love her to the moon and back xoxoxox

  9. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    This is pure joy to read. Do you think Rana was so excited to see Maia that she demonstrated in this way? Truly gorgeous and shows that she is happy in her forever home. Loved to hear that all three stayed close to each other even though there was a fence between Lady and the other girls……Lady is slowly gaining confidence as she would not have been anywhere near the others a few weeks back.

  10. REPLY
    Carey says

    The incredible Rana, she really is some Granma, one with such a youthful spirit in her, over the time of her being at sanctuary she has shown her excitement so readily numerous occasions. Its truly wonderful seeing more and more of their character traits come out, and their friendships and sense of self evolving. Its amazing to me, considering so much of her must have been suppressed for so many years, makes me think she must have suffered greatly.

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