Bambi is doing well. As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, for a few days after Mara decided not to share space with Bambi, Bambi kept to herself in Yard 5. She had access to Yards 1 & 5, but she chose to stay a little further away from the other two. She seemed disconnected the first day, but, after that, she seemed okay. It’s positive that she took the time to process rather than just continuing to try with Mara. It’s very similar to what we saw with Rana when, shortly after her arrival, Maia and Guida rebuked her.
It’s worth noting how different her life is now than it was before. While having other elephants around is undoubtedly very exciting for Bambi, there’s a lot more for her to focus on. She has grass for grazing, mud, trees, natural ponds, and space. Her care team listens to her and respects her needs. All of those things are very new. Even if the friendship aspect isn’t ‘perfect’ in the moment, there is still so much here for any elephant to embrace. While we humans tend to fixate on one thing, elephants generally don’t do that. When one thing isn’t going well for any elephant, they tend to focus on something else. It seems easy for an elephant to do that, especially when those other aspects are new, exciting, and beautiful.
A couple of days later, Bambi returned to Yard 1 and began interacting with Mara through a fence again. Those interactions have continued to happen regularly.
Bambi and Maia have also interacted along a few shared fences during this time. As we know, Maia has two speeds, and we are beginning to learn that Bambi may be the same way. When they both are sleepy, they are both sweet, touchy, and mellow along the fence. Other times, Bambi is super spunky. She still approaches Maia submissively by backing up most of the time, but on her spunky days, the two play with their trunks, each trying to place theirs on top of the other elephant’s trunk.
Bambi is thrilled to explore everything growing now that it’s the rainy season. She spent several hours in Yard 3, sampling leaves on saplings and eating vines. When we check on the elephants at night (10:00 p.m.), we frequently see Rana, Mara, and Bambi interacting along the fence, touching, and loudly rumbling to each other. The three seem to enjoy spending that time at night together, all seeming relaxed.
Bambi seems to still struggle with understanding when to approach and when not to approach. It sounds so simple, but when elephants have been alone for decades, understanding another elephant’s body language can be very challenging for them. Bambi tends to be so happy to approach that she just approaches without stopping to observe and decide if it’s appropriate.
Based on what we observe along the fences at night, we plan on allowing the three to share space in one of the larger yards – like Yard 4. That way, if Mara decides she needs her space, Bambi can walk further away and truly give them space. We aren’t sure when that will happen. The timing will be based on what we see between the three. It will also depend on where the other elephants are – Maia has been quite content in Yard 5 the past few days, and Lady has been happy in Yard 4. As always, we will keep you posted as things develop. For now, we are not concerned about Bambi – she is handling everything quite well, just like Rana did.
Photo of Bambi.
October 23, 2020
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Sallee Kelly saysOctober 24, 2020 at 1:47 pm
How is Bambi’s left eye? Have you determined if she is totally blind in that eye and if not, is there any chance of saving what sight she still has in that eye?
EleComposer saysOctober 24, 2020 at 4:03 pm
Bambi’s eye is permanently damaged, there is nothing that we can ‘fix’ with treatment. We are planning to use a preventative type drop on the other eye, since it does have some issues.
Wim saysOctober 25, 2020 at 12:08 pm
There’s no speed like Bambi speed. Hopefully time will be their extra guidance. They have a remarkable feeling for timing one which humans wish for. Stay safe and connected.
Alejandra(Sandy)Enquin saysOctober 24, 2020 at 1:48 pm
Bambi viste amor ,no era tan grave ,Mara te puso un limite,quizas no se sentia bien,pero se van a hacer muy amigas ,estoy segura, son algo parecidas en expresar su amor con ruidos ytrompetas,ademas esta Rana que es una facilitadora de relaciones,paciente y amorosa.
Bertica Valdes Suarez saysOctober 24, 2020 at 1:51 pm
“What we observe along the fences at night”. : )))) Reading this makes me so happy. I love to reference the map while I am reading the post too. thank you!!!
SHEILA saysOctober 24, 2020 at 1:55 pm
VERY NICE AND ENCOURAGING THAT THE LADIES R PROCESSING! I THINK THE ISSUE
BERY WELL COULD BE LADIES MARA AND BAMBI R BOTH EXTRAVERTS IN THEIR OVER DELIGHTFUL SPIRITS‼️ IF ONE? IS NOT FEELING WELL AND THE OTHER IS TOO ?EXHUBERANT AN ANNOYANCE COULD SHOW UP WHICH IS POSSIBLE WITH MARA ‼️ I THINK ITS ALL GOING TO BE GREAT. JUST A LITTLE UNDERSTANDING LIKE HUMANS HAVE
TO PROCESS ALSO! I BELIEVE. IN A FEW DAYS EVERYONE IS GOING TO BE LOVING IT UP VERY NICELY!! HOPE ALL 4 LADIES , MAIA?! RANA, ?MARA, BAMBI ?WILL ALL ❤️LOVE YARD 4 TOGETHER‼️
Rosie P saysOctober 24, 2020 at 2:10 pm
Wonderful. This is reassuring. Bambi has many new enrichments to explore and discover and, hopefully, some ellie social skills will come with time. I am praying that Mara is not unwell and will be back to her gorgeous self very soon. There has been a lot to process over the last 2 weeks…a new ellie and a devastating fire. That’s enough for anyone. It is amazing how Bambi feels the need to interact with the others given that she was so afraid of Maison and also fearful of venturing into the outdoor space at the zoo. It’s remarkable how she has adapted to her new environment so quickly. We can hope that she will now “go placidly” and rebuild her relationships with the others.
Julie saysOctober 24, 2020 at 2:14 pm
Thank you for the update. I really have trust that no matter how it plays out, this sanctuary is doing good and positive things for Bambi as we speak. I have that kind of faith in the environment you all have created. Thank you, again, GSE!
Ercilia Garcia saysOctober 24, 2020 at 2:21 pm
Is Bambi putting on weight? Were you ever able to get a weight on her?
EleComposer saysOctober 24, 2020 at 4:03 pm
we have a scale at the barn. we weighed her a couple of weeks after her arrival and will re-weigh her soon. but that kind of weight should and needs to come on gradually to be healthy. she was not weighed at the zoo, so we don’t have a previous weight.
Sherry saysOctober 24, 2020 at 2:45 pm
All is well and will be in the end. You will see.
Meredith saysOctober 24, 2020 at 6:17 pm
I also wonder what baggage Bambi carries from her treatment by Maison. Thanks for all these photos.
arie saysOctober 25, 2020 at 2:45 am
It is unbelievable how these elephants, who never lived in a herd, get on so well with each other, and these little fall outs are nothing else but minor flaws in their relationship.
Of course everything is thanks to you all, humans, who fully respect their rhythm and freedom
FRANCINE FORD saysOctober 25, 2020 at 11:41 am
So happy to hear that amidst differences all the Golden Girls seem to be getting along as best they can. Will be interesting to see what happens each time you “add more to the herd” and other ellies come to Sanctuary. I’m loving your update posts. They have become a highlight to my day. And I have learned so much from them. Thank you for rescuing these beautiful ladies.
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