June 25, 2013

The Social Butterfly

For a time, Tarra was THE elephant at The Elephant Sanctuary.  She was eventually joined by Barbara, then Jenny, then Shirley, and eventually 20 others.  Early on, Tarra was the unofficial “greeter” of new elephants. For some of the new arrivals, Tarra was the first elephant they’d seen in years. Tarra remains the most social elephant at The Sanctuary, maintaining relationships with all of the Girls in the Asia Herd. She regularly stops by to socialize with all of the others, and she and Shirley often spend time together way out in the far corners of the habitat. She’s been spending a lot of time with Misty and Dulary lately, and Caregiver Jessica offers this account of a recent visit, which you can watch below.


“Dulary and Misty always appear excited when Tarra comes around. One day last week, Tarra showed up looking for Misty and Dulary. Misty came down out of the North Yard to greet her. Misty and Tarra gave each other a special “hello” by embracing each other’s trunks and smelling each other all over. Misty and Tarra went over to the barn to find Dulary, who seemed surprised and excited to see Tarra. All three elephants romped around together, nudging each other and twirling their trunks. All the excitement played out to the tune of Tarra’s seal-like barking noise and Dulary’s happy grunts. Misty’s powerful trumpet blast signified the end of the song. Tarra stayed and spent some quality time with her Sisters. Dulary stayed close to Tarra while Misty took a nap. Most things usually end with Misty taking a nap!”

The day after she spent time with Dulary and Misty, Tarra visited Sissy and Winkie.

As the habitat is so expansive, there are lots of places for the Girls to spend their time. It had been quite some time, maybe even months, since the three had been together.  Sissy and Winkie are never apart, but they usually choose to stay in a different part of the habitat than Tarra. Caregiver Peter tells the story:

“Most days Tarra is with Shirley for the morning feed, but she is often somewhere completely different at the end of the day. She made a surprise appearance in Deep Valley Meadow one evening; Sissy and Winkie were there eating their hay. There was a Sissy/Tarra/Winkie reunion! It was great! Sissy was backing up to Tarra, and Tarra was barking with both of them happily flapping their ears! Winkie ran up when she saw Tarra, but immediately slowed back down to normal Winkie speed (‘mosey’) She appeared pretty happy as well.”

You can Adopt Tarra, Misty, Dulary, Sissy, Winkie, or any of the other Girls and help with their ongoing care!