After the five elephants spent the day in the smaller yards near the barn (while Lady was in Yard 4), we mixed things up a bit the next day. Lady was given the opportunity to spend time in the smaller yards, while the other girls shared the larger yards for the evening. So when the caregivers were checking the cameras and heading down the hill in the morning, they could see elephants spread throughout multiple yards.
Maia was in Yard 4 near the Lollipop Tree, but quickly hustled herself to the front of Yard 5, which is quite a distance to cover in a short amount of time. As we encouraged Maia to walk to an advantageous spot in Yard 4 for breakfast, Guillermina showed up, so the two headed to the same area to get their food. Meanwhile, the “Powerpuff Girls” were still out in the habitat somewhere, having not come down for breakfast yet.
Finally, we found Rana and Bambi in Yard 5 and we assumed that Mara would be with them – but she wasn’t. Mara actually showed up at the pond in Yard 4, so she was able to eat with Maia and Guille. That’s not a combination that occurs every day, but it seemed to work well on this morning. Rana and Bambi were encouraged to also eat in Yard 4 near the others, in case Lady decided she was in the mood to head back into Yard 5 later.
It’s heartening to see how readily the elephants will roam the habitat. Oftentimes both elephants and humans get into patterns of behavior; the girls know when it’s time for meals and this can often lead to them going to the same places around those times, which can make things more manageable for caregivers. But we love mornings when we see elephants come from areas you might not expect them to be in. They’re grazing more now that the grass is greener, so that tends to cause them to be less excited about their supplemental feedings, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s beautiful to see them explore the wide open spaces that sanctuary offers.
Photo of Rana grazing