The Watermelon Life Part II: Rana


As we mentioned in yesterday’s post – Monday morning found Rana & Maia very, very sleepy.

A sleepy Maia is incredibly compliant. A sleepy Rana? Not so much.

Rana was too sleepy to cooperate yesterday morning. It happens sometimes. We all have our “off” days – humans and elephants. It’s easy to talk about things that go perfectly (& even things that go ok). As part of our striving for authenticity and transparency, we also want to talk about when things don’t go as planned.

Yesterday was treatment day for Rana. When we asked Rana to come over for treatment, she happily walked over to the fence in Yard 4. When asked for her foot, she did a great foot present… and that’s about all she did.

Sleepy Rana looked at Shirlei and Karissa for a little bit and watched them ask her to move into a position for her eye treatment. Rana evaluated her options – she could turn around and receive treats, or she could stay where she was.

Rana had already eaten her grain, produce, hay, and palms for breakfast, and decided the grass tasted good enough. Rana felt that turning around was too much work, so she didn’t. There’s not much you can do when a stubborn grandma chooses to be a stubborn grandma. Except for laughing on occasion.

It’s the flip-side of choice. The elephants usually cooperate and actively participate in what we are requesting they do, but sometimes they don’t. And that’s their prerogative. When they don’t, we reassess and come up with a new plan. We find that, usually, all they need is a break and, if we try again later, they are happy to participate in exchange for treats.

The issue here was obvious – Rana needed to nap, and Sanctuary is on their time. We left her with Maia to simply be, deciding to check back in the afternoon to see if she was more rested and interested in playing along.

When the same caregivers went back down in the afternoon, they found a very different Rana. She was out in Yard 4 and came over to the four-wheeler immediately. She passed by Ramba’s grave on her way to the fence and paused there for a few seconds before continuing on her way. Rana greeted her humans with bright eyes and flappy ears. She stood perfectly still for treatment and was not only more cooperative but was also very affectionate. She kept lowering her head to human height and seemed to enjoy her forehead rubs as well as her treats. Rana was her perfect self the entire duration of her treatment.

Picture: Rana enjoying her watermelon treat.

March 10, 2020

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  1. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Rana is so wonderful and adorable that I could cry! They inspire me and never fail to brighten my day. All my love to every one of you, elephant and human..

  2. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    Way to Go Grandma !!! I loved this : )

  3. REPLY
    Sherry says

    I am happy to know the elephants can do as they please when they choose to. I know the sanctuary realizes they have wants and needs just like humans. You are a caring bunch.
    Thank you!

  4. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    I get Rana! I have mornings like that on occasion too.!!?♥️

  5. REPLY
    Carey says

    What an amazing account, and I very much appreciate being told when things dont go so well because this is how I learn and I surely did learn about granma Rana in this instance, and she must have greatly appreciated her humans patience and lack of force, I love the way she expressed that in her affectionate way, mind blowing! One day when you are very very rich lol it would be great to see what they get up to at night via a night vision camera or something, maybe thats not practical as where would you put it, anyways, I would love to see them at night!!!

  6. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Bless her beautiful heart….and same to all of you who love and respect her. She’s adorable and I’m so glad she has sanctuary and is at her ease for evermore. She remembers her friend, sweet Ramba, but is again beginning to live her life as she ought. We love you, Rana!

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