As an elephant caregiver, you constantly have to evaluate whether your thoughts about what an individual wants or needs match their actual desires. We never want to make assumptions that, just because they seem content for the time being, they aren’t looking for more in their days. That’s why freedom of choice is essential to sanctuary; it’s our responsibility to provide opportunities for the elephants to decide what they want to do, with whom, and when.
For that reason, Scott checked on Lady recently as she’s been spending time in the male Asian yard. Though she loves exploring, that doesn’t mean that she might not want to come to the barn for foot soaks or just a change in scenery.
She’d positioned herself in an area that was close to the corridor that leads back to Yard 1, so that might be her way of telling us she wanted to leave and check out another area. So, Scott opened up the fence to allow Lady to walk out. She did and immediately started eating grass there, since it’s a different type of grass than what’s found in the habitats. She played a little bit with a palm and seemed to take a light nap before turning and walking right back into the male yard. Though it turned out that she was content to stay where she was, we can’t assume that will be the case at all times. We let her choose, and that’s the essence of what life here should be.
Photo of Lady