Dulary arrived at the Sanctuary safe and sound on May 1. She is now in the expanded Asian Habitat of 2200 acres with the 'founding' herd, where she is enjoying meeting her new sisters and exploring her habitat.
May 15, 2007
It has been two weeks since Dulary’s arrival; what a gem she
is. Her days are filled with mini excursions, naps in the woods, and Misty’s
constant companionship. Over the past week Dulary has often needed some me-time,
but Misty does not understand the concept. Dulary gives her the slightest head
gesture and Misty giggles, then Dulary acts more demonstrative, even using
her foot to push Misty a few inches away, and Misty simply refuses to accept
the suggestion that Dulary does not need her shadowing her every single moment
of every day. Misty always wins out, or so it seems, since she spends all of
her time racing back and forth between Delhi and Dulary. When she is lucky
enough to have her two best friends side by side, she is ecstatic.
May 5, 2007
May 4, 2007
Today Dulary wandered away from Misty and Delhi and ended up near the barn. This was a great opportunity to see if Dulary was interested to coming inside to check out the barn. There was no urgency in her interest, but Dulary did enter the barn and stood on the outside porch for some time. She pulled out all the goodies in the treat toy that just happened to be in reach and then walked all the way inside the barn. She leisurely wandered around a couple of the stalls, ate some hay and assorted produce that had been spread around for her enjoyment, and then wandered back outside. Dulary is a gem; she is relaxed and confident and shows no stress when experiencing something new.
May 3, 2007
This afternoon was another busy one for Dulary. She, Delhi, and Misty are already best of friends, and this afternoon she met Sissy and Winkie. Sissy is always completely submissive with other elephants, which endears her to them almost immediately, but Winkie has difficulty relating on a level other than dominance. Usually time and space is the key to Winkie bonding with new elephants and this will most likely be the case with Dulary as well.
Winkie approached Dulary, slowly maneuvering around her, curious but cautious. Sissy stood patiently, waiting for Dulary to notice her, and when she did they engaged in gentle trunk touches. The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent peacefully hanging out in the south yard together; Misty, Delhi, Dulary, Tarra, Winkie and Sissy.
It was really not a big surprise when late in the evening Winkie tested Dulary in a show of dominance. Dulary responded with resistance. They engaged in a pushing match, neither wanting to be submissive, both holding their own ground. The pushing subsided but Winkie continued to press the issue of dominance and this time Dulary did not engage. Dulary stood passively with Winkie at her side. After some time Winkie finally walked away secure in her status as the dominant individual.
Interestingly enough, not all elephants need to establish their dominance over each other. In fact, in this herd Winkie is the only individual that feels her personal security depends on her dominance; the others are motivated to be equals. One explanation for Winkie’s behavior could be her past traumas, another is hormone levels and also there is the issue of her low self esteem. Most likely it is a combination of all three causing Winkie to protect herself from imagined threats that exist exclusively in her mind. Caregivers were with Winkie and Dulary the entire time, encouraging and reassuring them. Dulary continued to eat and dust during and after the confrontation, she handled Winkie like a pro.
The past three days have been filled with new adventures and blossoming friendships for Dulary. Finally, her need for sleep caught up with her. The amazing thing is that less than 48 hours after meeting the first Sanctuary resident, Dulary felt comfortable enough to lie down and sleep in their presence. Misty adores Dulary and stood over her as she slept, obviously providing the sense of security Dulary needed to have a restful nap.
May 1, 2007
After more than four hours of waiting, Dulary finally left the trailer and set all four feet firmly on Tennessee soil. But she did not stand still for long. The minute she touched ground she was interacting with elephants, sampling the vegetation, dusting and exploring.
Tarra caught her attention right away; in fact Tarra was the reason Dulary left the trailer. After a brief interaction with Dulary still standing in the trailer, evaluating Tarra’s intention, Tarra walked away and Dulary stepped right out of the trailer and hustled after her.
With Dulary in hot pursuit, Tarra hesitated long enough for Dulary to catch up and they both burst into vocalizations and gentle trunk touches. They were immediately comfortable with each other with Dulary following whenever Tarra moved. The two could not get enough of each other…and then Dulary discovered the vegetation…and dirt…and trees…and the exploration began. Every few minutes Dulary would look around to see where Tarra was and rejoin her to share more chattering and touches.
Then Dulary decided to check out the area on the far end of the barn. She grazed her way down the elephant trail until she came to a cross roads; to the right was the north road where, several miles away, Bunny and Shirley were engaged in their own habitat exploration, and to the left, the road that leads to the lake. How exciting it was to see Dulary start out on the lake road…all by herself.
But then it was time for Dulary to meet two more sisters. Delhi and Misty had been patiently waiting, literally for hours, to meet Dulary, so when Dulary turned around and headed back towards the barn, Misty got very excited. With much composure Misty approached Dulary. With Misty and Tarra on either side, Dulary was showered once again with sweet affection from both.
Dulary noticed Delhi at the water trough and without
hesitation headed over to greet her. Misty, in a show of over-protection
for the elder of the herd, raced over and squeezed between her old friend
and new friend, but Dulary took no offence; Delhi and Dulary were still able
to interact and the introductions were complete. Since this time, Dulary
has remained in the constant company of her new sisters; eating, napping,
sharing affection, and exploring her new habitat. Her assimilation into
her new life has been remarkably instantaneous.
April 30, 2007
4:45pm - Roanoke, Virginia
April 29, 2007
It was another promising day for Dulary. She was given access to the trailer and this time she showed no reservation at all. Calm and confident Dulary walked up to the trailer and placed both front feet on the ramp leading into the trailer.
A goodbye party was held for Dulary. A visitor at the zoo documented the well-wishes of many of those who came to celebrate.
April 28, 2007
The elephant transport trailer arrived at the zoo yesterday. Before the driver
could get the trailer in place, the tractor got stuck in some soft earth behind
the elephant yard. After a collective effort which took four hours, several
men, a tow truck and another tractor, the tractor hauling Dulary’s trailer
was unstuck and her trailer was backed into place.
April 27, 2007
This baby picture of Dulary (only a few months old) was provided by the Philadelphia Zoo. The photo was taken soon after her arrival in 1964 and clearly documents her early affinity to a swimming pool full of water!
April 26, 2007, 6pm
Message from a staff member:
After a rain, this clay-filled Tennessee pavement covers your tires, leaving a trail wherever you drive. Tears sprang to my eyes as I realized exactly what this rainbow of tire tracks meant; Angie (the elephants’ favorite transport driver) had picked up the Sanctuary’s transport trailer. Suddenly, Dulary’s arrival was made real; the many details we are still juggling and the entire behind-the-scenes effort came to life completely. Through my happy tears I began to follow these tracks out of town, but they soon faded away, as the tires were washed clean by the gentle rain…these vanished footprints mark the real beginning of beautiful Dulary’s journey.
April 24, 2007
How fortunate Dulary is to have experienced such a loving family at her zoo and soon will join another equally caring family at the Sanctuary. In an instant the love that surrounds her will double! We are so pleased that Dulary is one of the lucky elephants that gets to have it all.