August 15, 2013

Habitat Expansion at Q-Barn

Frieda in Frieda's Field
Frieda in “Frieda’s Field”

Caregiver Kelly fills us in on some exciting news from Q:

Our Maintenance Team has been hard at work this past month expanding the Phase I Area of the Q-Habitat giving Liz, Frieda, and Billie more room to roam. The girls now have an additional 15 acres which includes a second pond, a big pasture full of fresh grazing grass, and a beautiful hillside view where they can watch over their fellow Hawthorn Herd sisters – Debbie, Ronnie, and Minnie.

This new habitat will provide new areas for exploration, more communication with Phase II Girls, more fresh grass to promote natural grazing, access to a plethora of trees for a variety of browse, and hills that will help the Girls keep their bodies strong by using several different muscles while adventuring in their habitat.

At first, as Caregivers suspected, the Girls seemed apprehensive to venture into the unfamiliar. Frieda is always the first to take on new adventures and was found grazing in the new pasture (now known as “Frieda’s Field) daily. During the wee hours of the morning – between 2 and 7 AM, she is usually napping in the woods behind the barn where the land has a slight incline, giving her an easy way to lie down and get up for naps. After three weeks of having their new habitat, Frieda spends each day going out into the new areas and coming back to the barn several different times during the day as if to say "Hi" and check in.

Her sisters needed some extra time to get comfortable with  their new surroundings. Liz was only seen in the new habitat a few times the first few weeks after opening the habitat. She seemed to want to stay near the barn where she may have felt more secure.  However, during the third week, Liz was spotted by her Caregivers near her sister Frieda up the hill behind the barn. She now has two "napping trees" in the new habitat that are on a little hill. She faces upward and leans her rear end against the trees and takes her daily siestas. She is an avid afternoon napper, and she usually does so standing up, so it’s great seeing her new napping sites which put some weight on the trees and help take it off her feet. 

Billie and LizBillie and Liz

And then there is Billie, who has surprised everyone with her bravery in being the only Girl that has explored the very top and farthest part of the new habitat! At first, her Caregivers didn't see her in this area, but they did find evidence that she had visited. Then, at around the two week mark of the new habitat being open, Billie was found at the top of the new habitat all by herself.  In Billie’s nearly seven years at The Sanctuary, this was the first time that she had not been within view of the Barns.  She has always stayed somewhat close to the Barns (perhaps because she feels most secure there). Now, seeing her in new spots so far away from the barns, surrounded by the land’s natural beauty, it seems Billie is flourishing at The Sanctuary. She’s even made some wildlife friends – Caregivers have seen deer grazing nearby. One of Billie’s favorite activities will always be splashing and playing around in the original pond.

It seems after a little encouragement and support, Liz, Frieda, and Billie have really embraced their new expanded habitat to the fullest and will have plenty more new and exciting adventures ahead of them as they wander deeper into their new home.

At Asia Barn
Misty and Dulary are the definition of “Ele-Friends.”  They are rarely, if ever, apart.  In our new video, you can see just what we mean.

Help maintain this wonderful habitat for these very special Girls through our Acres for Elephants program.

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