October 31, 2011

Shirley, the matriarch of the Founding Herd, continues to be a source of joy, comfort, and support for Tarra. This photo, taken this morning, is of the two of them socializing near the Asian Barn. Caregivers have noticed Shirley being extra gentle with Tarra since Bella's death.

Everyone is very relieved that food-motivated Tarra still has a healthy appetite. To her Caregiver's surprise, Winkie reached out to Tarra. Winkie, having finished her breakfast grain, started bringing all of her fruit and hay over to the corner of her stall, putting her breakfast in Tarra's reach.

They reached out to each other with a trunk entwine, and Winkie even put her trunk in Tarra's mouth. Tarra's eyes were so wide.  She was surprised by this interaction with Winkie. Of course, this didn't last forever, but her Caregiver was so incredibly touched to see this-it is somewhat out of character for Winkie, and it was beautiful to see her reaching out to her sister in her time of need.

Winkie wasn't the only elephant willingly sharing food with Tarra. Caregivers placed some hay on the ground for Tarra, then put some for Shirley about 100 feet away. Tarra picked up her hay and carried it closer to Shirley, placed it on the ground near her, and stood there and ate. Then, Shirley willingly shared her hay with Tarra when she came to stand beside her. Afterward, Tarra finished her own hay, and then..up lake road she went, towards Sissy and Winkie, perhaps to check and see if Winkie's earlier generosity was continuing and just how much hay she could get out of how many elephants.