Bambi may have some vision in her left eye still. When elephants are blind in one eye, they tend to be hypersensitive to certain things and shift their entire body to adjust their gaze when you approach. We don’t observe Bambi doing these behaviors, which is why we suspect she can at least see light or shadows during the day. At night, her vision is more compromised, which has her caregivers making some adjustments.
Initially, when Bambi was spending time in Yard 5 on her own, we wanted to make sure she continued to wander. To encourage exploration, we would put out hay piles with several fruits on top in new areas. That didn’t work as planned as she tended not to find some of the piles. Thankfully, Bambi started exploring independently. The humans began leaving her piles in consistent locations, and now Bambi knows where to look for them. We have around a dozen locations that we use for Bambi. We don’t put down that many piles at once, but Bambi seems to check those locations, so it works.
When we leave piles for other elephants, like Mara, they understand that they will always get more food. Mara will eat what she wants and leaves scraps behind. Bambi is quite different; she almost always finishes each pile.
During night feed, we tend to drop a few piles close to where she is in addition to her designated spots. During the day, when we are dropping food, we need to maintain a decent speed so that she stays at a safe distance from our four-wheeler (ATV). At night, once we drop a pile, we wait for her to be in line with the four-wheeler before driving off so she can find the food easily. One recent night, somehow, she managed to approach each pile with her left side, the side with limited vision. If the fruit on top is smelly – like a chunk of watermelon or a banana broken in half, she can smell it and find it. If the pile has whole fruit (e.g., a pear or apple), she couldn’t smell them as quickly and would walk past her pile of food. This happened a couple of times before she was about to walk past another pile and the smell of banana caught her nose. So Bambi, like the other girls, is training her caregivers. This time it’s to ensure that they place at least one deliciously stinky fruit on her hay piles.
November 22, 2020
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Lila saysNovember 22, 2020 at 11:53 am
She’s really smart ❤❤❤❤❤
Alejandra(Sandy)Enquin saysNovember 22, 2020 at 12:08 pm
Bambi bambina la nena inteligente y veloz .sera que come toda las pilas de du alimento porque quizas si deja ,como. Mara, al regresar no las encuentre.quizas asi se asegura .????claro a menos que tengan un olor a podrido??bueno sobre gustos Bambi nada esta escrito.no sera roquefort o camembert pero una buena sandia o banana pasada parecen deliciosas
Debbie Sides saysNovember 22, 2020 at 12:45 pm
Bless her. She is so sweet and spunky all at once!
Julie saysNovember 22, 2020 at 1:09 pm
This is the time of year for giving thanks and remembering what we are grateful for. And one of my big ones this year is that these lovely ladies find themselves in the company of caregivers who are not only immensely dedicated to them but also seem to have a gift for observation that allows them to provide the very best custom care. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, and yes I am so grateful for it! Sending you Ellie keepers much deserved love ❤️
Bonnie saysNovember 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm
Funny about her following in daytime so closely u have to adjust your speed to keep her safe!!!! I like to envision that !!!! Makes me smile!!!!
Carey saysNovember 22, 2020 at 2:23 pm
Aaahh so that’s how you do it!
FRANCINE FORD saysNovember 22, 2020 at 2:50 pm
AMAZING how our (and their) bodies can compensate to certain ailments so that we (they) can still enjoy the sweet fruits of life. See what I did there? 😉 Dear Ms Bambtastic is loving Sanctuary so much that she doesn’t want to miss a thing & I can’t say as I blame her. She knows her lovely, caring hoomans leave her some of her favorite snacks & fresh hay & by gum she’s gonna find it. Thank you for making it easier for her to do. You ALL ROCK!
John saysNovember 22, 2020 at 4:21 pm
Bambilicious! You’re too much! Enjoy your new life.
Jennifer saysNovember 22, 2020 at 7:58 pm
I am beyond amazed at how Bambi has come out of her shell. It was killing me watching her cower in that concrete block building at the zoo. And now! She’s a whole new gal, exploring land and life, as it should be! I noticed in this most recent photo of Bambina how well her skin has shed and how healthy she is looking. I can’t express my gratitude enough for what you all do. I love your updates. So thankful!
SHEILA saysNovember 22, 2020 at 8:22 pm
BAMBI! U BIG ❤️?SMART GIRL! U JUST MISSED UR PILES OF ??FRUIT AND HAY BECAUSE WERE DISTRACTED! YES BAMBI HAS VERY LOW VISION IN HER ?EYE! I PRAY SHE CAN GET THA CATARACT LASERED OFF SO SHE REGAINS MORE VISION! WELL IF BAMBI CONTINUES TO LEAVE HER PILES OF HAY AND FRUIT COULD IT BE SHE PREFERS THE LUSH GREEN GRASS?
ABSOLUTELY HER CARE GIVERS. ARE OBSERVANT AND IM SURE PUTTING THE FRUIT ???IN TOP WILL HELP BAMBI!! HOPE THE BIRDS DONT FEAST BEFORE BAMBI FINDS THEM❗️
Sallie saysNovember 22, 2020 at 9:52 pm
Bambi, you Smarty Pants! You know your stuff! Even we humans at attached to aromas, so we get it! But you also go with your heart. Always go for your first impression, which you have shown us. Miss Bambi you are amazing and entertaining at the same time! LOVE YOU!
Bo saysNovember 23, 2020 at 12:36 am
Such a simple yet therefore very intelligent way to help out animals who have problems with their vision, wether if they can still see a bit or not, surely helps out to lower any possible stress or anxiety levels Bambi might have, Thank you, humans!
Kelejan saysNovember 23, 2020 at 10:13 am
It amazes me that you are always finding new ways to care for these lovely elephants, I so enjoy reading all you do and the wonderful replies from all your supporters.
JoAnn Merriman Eaton saysNovember 23, 2020 at 3:04 pm
Dearly love all these girls, but I have to say I when I read Bambi’s posts, I just smile from ear to ear!!
Rosie Hales-Tooke saysDecember 6, 2020 at 5:26 am
I Am just happy to be in the background knowing that whatever help I can give is going to people I can trust to give the elephants and other wildlife, the love and care and security they need. Can you please tell me this, Elephants are huge, how can they be captured and end up in miles away as the prisoner of not only Zoos but individuals who keep them for their own ends. How does this happen. Its an enormous undertaking to move an elephant as you know.
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Your ticket for the: When Stinky Fruit Is a Good Thing. Just Ask Bambi.
When Stinky Fruit Is a Good Thing. Just Ask Bambi.