January 31, 2011

Last week's rainstorm made for lots of mud. When Debbie, Ronnie, and Minnie returned to the barn, they were liberally covered in it, turning them from their normal gray color to a dark brown.

Once inside the barn, Minnie rolled around on her belly, inching along the barn floor to scratch the bottom of her stomach. Wiggling left and right, she made sure to reach all her itchy spots. Then she stood up to rub her sides over the walls, creating nice "mud paintings" for caregivers to admire. For good measure, Minnie also rubbed along the steel bars...just to make sure her caregivers had plenty to clean the next morning!

 

Flora and Tange had some fun in the mud, too!

Winter is refusing to back down, and decided to dump some more snow on us this past week. It was quite beautiful with the large flakes against the dark sky, and picture-perfect trees the next morning. The Asian Barn Ladies, however, spent most of their time inside. The following day was phenomenal. With a clear evening sky the night before, every star shone brilliantly, giving the promise that a sunny day was within grasp. The day broke with full sun, strong enough to melt all of the snow off the trees by midmorning.

The warmth seemed to put a swing in everyone's step, both caregivers and elephants alike. Winkie was full of "ooohs" and trunk-taps as she ventured into the daylight. Shirley and Tarra headed north for a hillside that blocks the wind, while allowing them to soak up the full sun while they nap. Dulary and Misty napped as well, initially one at a time, then together later in the afternoon. The day remained stunning well into the afternoon, allowing for delivery of their dinners via the 4-wheeler, a service they have not enjoyed for quite some time. All of the Ladies returned to the barn before the sun finally disappeared from view. Though this was just a hint of the warmer weather to come, all the inhabitants at the Sanctuary seemed eager for more.

In Phase I, Liz's TB treatments continue. Her meds are administered just outside the barn in a special chute, and sometimes Billie will take it upon herself to block the doorway. So caregivers often have to take a little extra time to reassure Billie that everything is okay and nothing terrible is going to happen to her friend.

The other day when the weather reached the 50s, Liz wandered down the yard after her treatments to eat hay and bask in the sun, while Frieda decided to lie on her side so she could sleep soundly. Billie, instead, took advantage of the nice weather to visit her favorite patch of trees and quietly rest her eyes.
 
January 31st is the 5th anniversary of Minnie and Lottie's arrival at the Sanctuary. Lizzie arrived five years ago on February 2nd with her long-time companion Queenie. The two spent many years together at Benson's Wild Animal Farm before being sold to Hawthorn Corp. in 1987.