May 5, 2014

Touching Moments at Asia Barn

Tarra and Misty
Tarra and Misty

It has now been 5 months since Dulary passed away. Thursday, May 1st, would have marked her seven year anniversary at Sanctuary. After Dulary left us, we all wondered what the future held for her best friend, Misty. The two had rarely been apart since Dulary’s arrival. We’ve mentioned before how Shirley and Tarra were there to offer comfort in the days and weeks that followed.  With the passing of more time, the relationship between these three continues to evolve and accommodate the ever-changing herd dynamic. We are thankful to be able to observe and share with you.

Caregiver Nicole works at Asia Barn and wanted to pass along some of what she and her colleagues have seen. “After Dulary’s passing, Shirley and Tarra spent the majority of their time with Misty – eating, sleeping, just hanging out. Several times, we watched Shirley stand over a sleeping Misty, touching Misty’s head with her trunk. When the elephants would decide to come inside during cold weather, Tarra and Misty became ‘Barn Buddies,’ leaning against each other and sharing hay.”

With the nicer weather here, Shirley has been wandering much farther, but she is still often seen with Misty near the barn. Staff is hopeful that Misty will eventually begin to follow Tarra and Shirley on their walkabouts. There are glimpses of a new, more adventurous Misty that remind us that she is still growing, still learning, and still getting used to her Sanctuary habitat. Caregiver Nicole shares a recent observation:
“We came in one morning recently, and we noticed an elephant sleeping near the North Gate area of the habitat. We assumed it was Shirley, as this is one of her regular haunts. We were all then very surprised to see Tarra AND Shirley hanging out near the barn…meaning that Misty had walked all the way up to North Gate by herself! A milestone for sure! We brought treats out to Misty where she was resting to let her know how proud we were.”

Keep listening and reading for more updates as they occur. Every day is a new milestone at Sanctuary.

You can watch Shirley and Misty’s “Touching Moments” in the video below, captured via EleCam: