June 13, 2011

It has been another pretty quiet week around Africa, albeit a HOT one. Tange and Flora have spent a few more days than usual around the barn, taking advantage of their dug-out mud holes and sand for dusting.
 
Usually they will have breakfast away from the barn, and then they wander back for a while, only to mosey off again throughout the day to graze, eat some browse, and escape the sun. Flora enjoys showers from the hose, and both Ladies like for the water to be sprayed into their mouths. Tange is not as fond of the misty showers, and tends to move off a short distance while Flora is being sprayed. Afterwards, both Tange and Flora usually go to a favorite dirt or sand spot, adding to their layers of self-made, natural bug protection.
 
Since they decided to stay around the barn, it gave the maintenance crew a chance to start work on the training wall up at the Plateau. This will offer opportunities to work with the Girls at one of their favorite habitat hang-outs instead of having to wait for them to be near the barn.


In protected contact, training walls offer additional safeguards, leaving special openings
for the elephant to voluntarily present her foot, ear, etc. for medical procedures.


We have started using our two varieties of homemade natural fly spray/bug repellant, and the Girls seem to really appreciate it. Of course, the one with the garlic ingredient gets their noses busy, as they suck it off their skin and spray it on other areas of their body, or even into their mouth occasionally. Mmmmm, garlic breath!

This week in Asia, Tarra began her ritual of returning to the barn during the day to visit with Dulary and Misty. She had breakfast down at the lake, but by 10 a.m. arrived at the barn. Dulary and Misty had just started to make their way into the pond for their morning swim as Tarra came around the corner. When Dulary and Misty spotted her, they were already up to their knees in the water. For the next five minutes, they watched one another, until Dulary and Misty decided to go all in. Rather than join them in their swim, Tarra decided she would rather watch from a mound above and eat hay. When the Girls were finished playing and came out of the pond, they joined Tarra in dusting, then they all retreated to the shade of the woods—where they stood side-by-side for most of the afternoon.

When the sun started to ease up, Dulary and Misty headed south, and Tarra started making her way back down to the lake to rejoin Shirley. By the time dinner was brought down, about 40 minutes later, she was already there! As always, Tarra continues to be our social butterfly—covering lots of ground with her friend Bella in tow.
 
As we enter the final phase in Liz's TB treatments, we have begun to notice that with the nicer weather, Billie, Frieda and Liz seem to be a bit frustrated with the space of their accommodations. On a few occasions, Billie has become surprisingly agitated towards Liz, so to alleviate the tension we have started to mix things up a little in the evening by giving Liz the yard, while Billie and Frieda stay in the barn/annex area. As soon as we get clearance on Liz's health, Caregivers will move them back to the Phase 2 barn, where they'll be able to enjoy much more indoor and outdoor space, as well as a chance to reconnect with the rest of their herd.

For now, all three like to spend a lot of time up the hill in the trees. The other day, Billie and Frieda took turns in their small pond. Frieda went first, with Billie waiting patiently at the side. Once she was sufficiently muddy, she climbed out and Billie got her chance. She started by testing the water with her trunk, then vigorously splashed, followed by a circular stirring motion—finally dunking all the way in.

After changing some of Frieda's foot treatment products, along with extra cleaning of her feet, we are glad to see they are beginning to look better. Frieda is also now getting some iron supplements, although she goes through phases where she doesn't want to take them, forcing us to try different ways