We filmed this footage this morning with our drone, named Wall-E. We don’t use Wall-E every day, but when we do want an unobtrusive check-in with the girls, we are grateful to have it.
There are a few areas (and elephants!) identified with captions in the video. We wanted to explain the video in detail for those who aren’t native English speakers and for those who want to know more. We hope this gives everyone an idea of what we are talking about when we mention certain features or parts of the habitat. The video isn’t an exhaustive tour of the habitat, it’s more of a quick flyover, but we think it will help all of our followers, new and old. The video only shows around 20% of the property, so this is just a small fraction of the incredible land here. The African habitat (Kenya’s) is not in this video – it’s on the top of the hill in the other direction.
The video begins with Mara & Rana. Mara is the slightly closer elephant, with Rana just behind her. They are both in the north side of Yard 4. This pasture is one of Rana’s favorite fields, and it’s also the field where Ramba is buried. When the elephants are here, they are visible from the office. The video continues across part of Yard 4 and cuts over to Yard 5. As you can see, the gate is open between Yard’s 4 & 5. That gate is called “Creeky Alley Gate,” and we refer to that path as “Creeky Alley.” The pond is the pond in Yard 5. Immediately after the pond, you can see Maia at the “Square.” The square is a connecting area between all the Yards, and we use it to shift the elephants. It’s also a training square, so we use it as a “human cage,” where the humans stand to work with elephants. It’s large enough to park a four-wheeler and move around a little without the elephants being able to touch the four-wheeler from any direction. The four-wheeler is not an elephant toy. ?
Just on the other side of the training square, you can see the (very wet) mud wallow that everyone – especially Lady – loves. It’s not always this wet. Once the video heads past the barn, you’ll see a dirt road large enough for vehicles. If you take the road to the right, it leads up to the office (and Scott & Kat’s house). If you head in the other direction, it goes towards the front gate. That next area you see is the male Asian elephant area, where hopefully Tamy, from Mendoza, will live.
We hope this helps everyone understand where at least some of the things we talk about are. If it doesn’t help you at all, at least you get to see some of this incredible place that Maia, Rana, Lady, and Mara call home.
Also, just to note – the drone does not bother the elephants. They don’t seem to respond to it. We know that wild African elephants respond to drones at times. We always observe the elephants here very carefully and approach in slow increments, to make sure it doesn’t bother them.
Map included below to help with yard identification.
May 27, 2020