Bambi and Mara recently spent some time in the area across the creek in Yard 4. That part of the habitat is visible from on top of the hill. Kat could see them from the office and was very perplexed by their antics.
Mara would settle in an area and start grazing. Bambi would approach closely, and Mara would dart off. She’d go to a new location and begin grazing, Bambi would walk over and stand next to her, and the pattern would repeat. It was entertaining from a distance, but it didn’t provide the full story of what was happening. Kat wasn’t sure if Bambi was being too clingy or if Mara was in a mood where she wanted personal space, or if something else was going on.
The two seemed to be working it out by themselves, and so much of sanctuary is letting the elephants be elephants, so Kat let the situation work itself out. Since their next meal was in a couple of hours, she shared the information with the other caregivers so they could be watchful of any signs that could only be seen from a closer vantage point.
When it was time for dinner, we found Rana near the 4B water trough, contentedly cleaning up scraps from earlier. When we made it to Mara and Bambi, Mara seemed a little bit fussy. After a few minutes, we quickly realized that the bugs were much worse than usual. Most of the time, there’s an hour window around dusk and dawn when the bugs peak, but it seemed this afternoon was just a very buggy day. It made us realize that Mara wasn’t running from Bambi before, but was just trying to escape the bugs. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work. We sprayed her down with our non-toxic bug spray, and her mood instantly improved. We were relieved to know Mara was only annoyed with the bugs and that all continues to be well between her and Bambi.
Photo of Bambi foreground, and Mara background