One of the things we’ve noticed with elephant caregivers old and new is that each goes through layers of learning and evolution in their growth. There may be times when they are observing and gathering immense amounts of information and putting that to use. Then, almost without fail, it seems that learning reaches a plateau of sorts. Some people stay on that level for long stretches of time and then – all of a sudden – something clicks. Seemingly out of nowhere, the caregiver will jump to the next level of understanding with the elephants. Things will start to sink in and jibe in ways they weren’t before.
But, sometimes like clockwork, these plateaus will come again. That’s just part of the learning process. It’s incredibly difficult for individuals to take in large amounts of information about care without processing it and putting it to use. Yet, as plateaus come, so do epiphanies. Something that was missing will start to come naturally, allowing more things to make sense. There is always a lot happening under the surface that we might not realize until we look back and see the pathway that a person has been on.
We mentioned that a similar thing is happening with the elephants – that they seem to be on their own plateau, perhaps on the brink of something new occurring. This type of learning in stages can be emblematic of sanctuary life, whether we’re talking about people or elephants. There’s always more going on than meets the eye and putting the big pieces together is all part of the larger process of learning about the world around you and all of those in it.
Photo of Bambi