Last week, all five of the girls spent a bit of time near each other, which certainly doesn’t happen every day. In the afternoon, they were a little spread out. Lady came to the barn for her footsoaks and treatments, then headed back out to graze in Yard 5. Maia was by the pond, in the same area as Mara, Bambi, and Rana – but not too close.
Bambi, Mara, Rana, and Maia all started heading toward the barn for dinner, but from different angles. Maia arrived at the gate first, at almost the same time as the other three. She opted to let Mara, Bambi, and Rana go ahead.
During Mara’s dinner and checkup, Maia decided to emerge and walk up very close to Mara, who was in the training chute eating. Mara allowed Maia to touch and smell her and, after a couple of minutes, Maia walked away. She ate her dinner near Bambi and Rana – but not at the barn, as those two tend to do.
Surprisingly, Lady decided to head back down to the smaller yards to see what was going on. She stood in a neighboring yard and watched calmly, definitely interested in what her friends were doing. Around that time, Maia decided to come back up behind Mara, who was still in the chute, and again touched and smelled her.
When it was time for Mara to leave the chute, Scott asked Maia to move a bit, so that Mara could back out, but Maia didn’t budge. Backing out of the chute with another elephant behind her could potentially make Mara feel vulnerable, so Scott let Maia know that he would be opening the gate for Bambi and Rana to enter and, as soon as he said that, Maia walked down the hill a bit. She didn’t go far – maybe about 30 meters away. Maia stayed near Mara, Bambi, and Rana for about 45 minutes, just watching them. Lady also moved closer to the other four, in her neighboring yard, to hang out. As the sun began to set, everyone started to wander to their evening spots. But it certainly was a bit of a new experience for everyone.
This short video was taken just after Maia had stepped away and Mara, Bambi, and Rana were sharing a yard together. You can see both Maia and Lady in neighboring yards.