It’s hard getting all three ladies walking together in the same video. Their speeds are so different that after just a minute, they’re not in the same frame anymore. We used a filter on this clip because the lighting was harsh and it allows you to see them better.
Rana starts out in the front but stops to see if someone else prefers to go ahead. Guida initially stays behind her but then passes and takes the lead, with Maia bringing up the rear.
I was trying to put together a video from this morning, but I should have known better than to think there would be time. Friday is delivery day- elephant produce, tapir food, human groceries (remember, the store is 1.5 hours away) and today we had some steel for the African Barn gates and a structure to store hay. Tomorrow you will get the video, today you get gorgeous Rana.
The girls are doing really well together. It’s subtle differences, but significant ones. When the three were heading to dinner last night, Guida stopped Maia in the middle of the road and stood with her. She then let out one of her big deep, open mouth rumbles, generally reserved for calling someone. This allowed Rana time to catch up with the two.
Last night was the first time that Rana ate between Maia and Guida. They weren’t all right next to each other, but Rana usually stays a bit behind. There are lots of little indications that Maia and Guida have become more inclusive where Rana is concerned. And it’s lovely.
This morning, since the girls were by the barn, Rana was brought in for her regular treatment, and Maia and Guida came in for footwork. We always separate whoever goes first, so we can safely move around all sides of them while working.
Maia and Guida were on the silly side, and it was nice to see that instead of just interacting with themselves, they went over to welcome Rana into the fun. Usually, they’re happy to keep their celebrations between the two of them, sometimes with Rana inviting herself in if she wants to play, but not this time. Her initial response is rumbles followed by her cute ‘deflated trumpet’ sound. This isn’t a sad trumpet, it’s just one of her variations, one that is hard to get on camera.
What you see in the video is what often makes recording vocalizations difficult. Even with the little disconnect of putting a camera or a phone between you and the elephants, they don’t engage as much, with each other or with the person. It is why you’ll hear us describe scenarios that we don’t have on film. Especially since the relationship between Rana and our other two ladies is still new, we like to be as encouraging and engaging as possible, that means being fully present.
So although it doesn’t remotely end up reaching Rana’s normal level of silly, we wanted to share her deflated trumpet since we’ve referred to it several times but haven’t been able to catch it on video.
Although Asian elephants do not eat the same thickness of branches as African elephants do, they will eat the stalks of pretty sizeable palms. When they do eat the thick stalks, they generally use their trunks and feet to split them down the middle and break them into manageable sizes. Yes, even Maia
In regards to trees, Asian elephants generally only eat small limbs, preferring vines, saplings, and grass. True to their species, since they are classified as grazers while African elephants are browsers.
Ok, so this kind of close up makes it a little harder to identify who it is. There’s still one thing that gives her away. Let’s see if you can tell. PS- don’t feel bad if you can’t, our own staff members double check on elephant IDs for photos. It’s tricky.
The ladies were cute this morning. They were all outside of the barn at one point, and Scott said excitedly, “Are you girls ready to go?” and Rana let out one of her blaring trumpets. Guida headed straight towards her at a clip, and it seemed Rana and all of her humans weren’t sure which Guida she was getting.
When Guida got to Rana’s side, she did nothing, just stood with her quietly. Not only is Guida’s response positive, but it’s good that Rana is now getting more comfortable with those kinds of expressions around both Maia and Guida.
March 3, 2019
AND THE ANSWER IS…..
Side by side makes it an easier comparison. The pink means it’s either Maia or Rana. Maia’s (below left) pink is much more solid at the top, while Rana’s (right) is much more spotted and broken up. The big give away for us though is the darkness of the eye. Even with just a slight side view, that eye couldn’t belong to anyone but Rana. And since you couldn’t tell how much fuzz there was, you couldn’t use that, which is an easy indicator that it’s Maia. We love the reasoning behind the answers. Thanks!!
Though there are videos of the girls playing, swimming and socializing, a big part of sanctuary is this. Simply elephants being elephants. This may not be exciting to some, but we find it mesmerizing to watch them relax, eat and graze.
Palms can be found throughout the property, but we supplement their area because they’re a favorite and we want to maintain the population of them in that area. There is an area we call ‘Sea of Palms’ which is overloaded with overgrown palms, so we take from there, thinning things out to grow a healthier mini forest.
Maia and Guida love their palms, and we’ve been able to use them as a gauge to what is going on with them at times. The girls have shifted whether they eat just the leaves, if they prefer the young palms or if they are in need of the very large, thick, fibrous stalks of the enormous fronds. It’s something we keep an eye on and note when it seems to be about fiber, digestion or teeth.
Rana is also a massive fan of palms, sometimes preferring the two-day-old ones she finds left behind in the habitat. They’re extra crunchy and Laura, our vet, jokes they must be more like potato chips. You can get Rana to follow you anywhere for a couple of palms.