September 23, 2013
Memories of Billie
With Billie’s birthday coming up, we thought it would be fun for some of our Caregivers to share their favorite Billie stories and give our supporters a little more insight into her unique personality. She is truly one-of-a-kind.
“One morning, Billie was standing outside the barn waiting to have her feet checked out. I decided to give her a drink of water/bath from the hose. She was a little hesitant at first…but it was a hot day. She came up to the wall and started drinking some water by collecting it in her trunk and then blowing it into her mouth. Everything was going well until she collected a trunk-full of water and blew it straight at me, drenching me from head to toe! She definitely has some sass and she isn’t afraid to show it!”
~ Caregiver Diana
“Sometimes we’ll smear peanut butter on the walls of the barn and place edible treats around the building to give the Girls a fun surprise when they come in, and Billie will be the first to find it and the last to walk away from it. You will commonly see Billie using her trunk to vacuum up the tiniest little fruit pieces or stretching the farthest to reach the hidden items. It’s very satisfying and fulfilling to see her get the most out of the activities we provide for the elephants’ mental and physical stimulation.”
~ Caregiver Brianna
“I was hosing the phase I annex and Billie was in the pond looking super silly. She was slapping her trunk on the water, making whirlpools with her feet, and rolling on her side. She had no idea I was there watching her so she was completely uninhibited. Once she realized I was watching, she picked up a bamboo shoot and threw it into the pond as if to show how big and tough she really was before climbing out.”
~ Caregiver Melanie
“My favorite Billie memory is her enjoying one of her favorite things to do – going for a swim. She and Frieda were in the pond together cooling off after a long morning in the sun. Frieda was standing and spraying water all over her body like she usually does. Billie, on the other hand, was sitting on her rear-end with her body straight up like a buoy bobbing in the water. She wasn't splashing or spraying water on herself but instead was just sitting completely still, soaking in the pond and relaxing like it was her own little spa. She did this for 10 solid minutes.”
~ Caregiver Kelly C
“When prepping for some new fence lines, some trees had to be bulldozed, but they were left in the habitat for the elephants to play with and eat. Billie was the first elephant to explore the new piles of brush, and she promptly started rearranging the trees. She used her trunk to pull on the branches of the trees, and used her feet to kick the trunks of the trees into more acceptable positions, as if she was doing some spring cleaning. She continued rearranging the trees like pick-up sticks for over an hour, only pausing briefly on a handful of occasions in order to eat a sapling or two. Watching Billie move trees like toothpicks reminded me of how powerful these girls are, and reaffirmed my respect for their wildness. It is a moment I will never forget.”
~ Caregiver Justina (Watch the video!)
“Caregiver Justina climbed up to chain this enormous popsicle to a tree limb as a special treat for Billie and Billie sniffing it then walking away.
We love Billie.”
~ Caregiver Kayleigh