Thankfully, the rain began yesterday. We had a short 5-10 minute rainstorm yesterday morning and another storm yesterday afternoon with light rain. Then, last night at around 9:00 p.m., we had a fairly heavy rainstorm. It was a steady downpour that lasted 20-30 minutes. These small bouts of rain are best. With how burned the land is right now, long heavy rains could cause runoff issues. (If you haven’t heard about our fire yet, please click here to learn more.
The rains – and accompanying cooler temperatures – means that all the animals seem light and mellow. We checked on the elephants in the rain last night and dropped off some hay. Interestingly, Bambi chose to eat her hay in the rain, whereas Mara & Rana moved their hay under the canopy of trees and bushes to eat in a dryer spot.
The firefighters are still showing up every day to check on us, which is very kind. The fire chief specifically asked how the elephants were doing, making sure they were okay. It’s touching to know that they genuinely care and aren’t just doing their jobs. ❤️
We see a lot of people are asking about the African elephant barn and habitat. The fires should not impact the arrival of Kenya, Kuky, and Pupy. Their permits are still not approved, so we do not have a timeline, but the fire will not cause any delay. The fences are steel, so they were not damaged in the fire. The land itself is charred, but this area is quite resilient. With the rains, everything should grow back and be very lush within a few months.
The African barn is untouched. We did not protect the barn during the fires, as it was not a priority. Our priority during the fire was to protect the current residents and not vacant buildings. That said, we design our construction with an understanding of the environment here, including fires. Like the Asian Barn, we have a large perimeter of sand and gravel around the African Barn as a fire buffer. With nothing to burn around it, the elephants could be closed in the barn in an absolute worst case, and the fire will move around it due to lack of fuel. While there were no elephants, that is what happened. The fire moved around the barn –the grass growing in the “protected” barn space is still alive and untouched by fire. We will have additional safety measures before any elephants arrive in that space. Of course, if elephants were living there, we would have protected it. All that said, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that our fire buffers surrounding the barn work without any human intervention or assistance.
Amid the devastation, we continue to be incredibly grateful to everyone who came together late last week to protect the residents of Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. ❤️