Maia truly seems to have returned to her previously normal smiley, cute, full-of-energy self.
Over the past few weeks, she has fallen into a new routine that seems to work for her. She seems to want breakfast alone in Yard 5 most days but will spend the day itself near to Ramba and Rana. In the evenings, we frequently find her along a shared fenceline with Lady. Lady & Maia both do their own thing on opposite sides of the fence, but you can see that they are both aware of the other, even as they seem to ignore each other. It works for both of them; they both seem to enjoy each other’s company from afar.
Maia still spends a large chunk of her time in Yard 5. She especially seems to enjoy what we humans call “mango hunting. “ Mangoes are in season in Brazil from October through March, and the sanctuary land came with many mango trees, the largest of which is directly in front of the Sanctuary office. During peak season, it feels like unlimited mangoes falling from the sky, so we process and freeze them for the girls to eat throughout the year. This time of year, our tree-ripened mangoes aren’t frozen first, so we like to scatter them around the fields, and Maia will happily spend hours hunting out every single mango snack.
No matter where she is, she passes her time being an elephant – grazing, napping in ponds, napping under trees. We suspect that part of the reason Maia is still spending so much time alone is that she isn’t quite sure who she is without Guida yet, but we can see her learning to redefine herself as she makes the rounds now. It’s hard to say if she is trying to figure out how she best fits into our shifting, evolving herd, or maybe she is just easing into being more social.
As this year comes to a close, we are curious and excited to see how she will continue to grow and learn and change with the new additions to the herd coming in 2020, but we also know that, just like everything else, whatever happens will be her choice, and it will happen at her own speed.