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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