Some people may be wondering why we are working on gates at the Asian barn. The reality is that we were given almost no time to have things ready for Maia and Guida, so things were never finished the way we would have liked them to be. It was that or allow them to be sent to an aquarium, so the choice was simple.
Maia and Guida have been phenomenal, but every elephant may not be the same and we need to start new keepers with elephants, so some adjustments needed to be made. Building is always done for the future- build for the worst case scenario and hope for the best.
One of the treatment chutes has been constructed to be more of a traditional training wall. This adds a degree of safety for those who are in the stages of building a relationship with an elephant. Different wheels are being put on the gates, simply because the ones we could find in the beginning weren’t what we wanted, and these glide better and will last longer. Gate extensions are being put in so the gates can be opened and closed while staying out of reach of any elephant.
Captive elephants are still wild animals and safety and respect is paramount. Some elephants that are considered ‘good’, appreciate having the extra space between you and them. It offers them a bit of comfort and allows them to relax more, not having to worry as much about their behavior.
These changes will all be built into the barns that follow, but for now, we are sprucing up the Asian barn in hopes that we will have some new elephants coming sometime soon.
the photo: lovely Miss Maia. Even her reflection is pretty.