May 30, 2013

Mother’s Day at The Elephant Sanctuary

Every day at The Elephant Sanctuary is full of surprises and special attention for all of the Girls, but one resident had an especially eventful day recently.  Caregiver Justina has this to share:

May 12th was Mother’s Day, and we had a special celebration for our only elephant mother, Ronnie.  Her son, Nic, lives at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California. We used non-toxic, harmless finger paint to decorate a special box for Ronnie and filled it with some of her favorite snack treats. We also picked her a bamboo bouquet and hand crafted a special “Edible Arrangement."

We presented Ronnie with her gifts right before dinner, and she wasted no time enjoying them. She “sprinted” up to her presents and quickly focused her attention on the box.  She knocked her bouquet and edible arrangement to the ground and swiftly stomped on her box to open it up. Once she was done enjoying the goodies inside her box, she moved on to indulge in her edible arrangement and her bamboo bouquet. Never one to miss a party, Debbie came over from across the meadow to investigate.  Ronnie shoved her box in her mouth to ensure that Debbie wouldn’t play with her favorite present, but she did let Debbie finish the leftover bits of her bamboo bouquet and edible arrangement. Ronnie ended the day with a spa treatment – a water massage with the fire hose! Overall it was a wonderful Mother’s Day at Q barn!

Ronnie's present from Nick

Nicholas (Nic) was born in captivity in 1993, and although he and Ronnie were separated soon after, Nic formed a close maternal bond with another adult female Asian elephant named Gypsy. Ronnie came to The Sanctuary in 2006 as part of the Caravan of Freedom that relocated eight elephants from the Hawthorn Corporation. Thankfully, Nic and Gypsy moved to the PAWS sanctuary the next year.