February 8, 2010

Divaland enjoyed a good snowfall. The girls rushed outside that day, before all the flakes started falling and stayed out in the weather for a little while, but it wasn’t long before they wanted to come inside to dry off and be warm. Debbie and Ronnie snacked on some hay as the snow came down in full force.

Later in the week, as the snow melted into slush, Minnie caught a case of the sillies. A caregiver came to bring her and Lottie some hay, only to find Minnie lying on her side in the mud. “Did you fall or did you get there on purpose?” asked the caregiver, teasing. Minnie replied by rolling quickly to her feet and head-butting nearby trees with enthusiasm. When the larger ones wouldn’t tremble in her presence quite the way she liked, she turned her attention to a smaller, bent-over one. Minnie bent the tree around its neighbor, then spun around and kicked it a few times for good measure. All the while, Lottie looked on in quiet amusement. The sillies ended as abruptly as they began (as they always do), and the pair followed the caregiver to their usual hay spot.
 
Debbie in the snowWho knew elephants would enjoy making snow angels? It makes sense, what with their love of rolling around in the mud. On the way out for hay yesterday, Ronnie and Debbie strolled through the now-soft and slushy snow and seemed to take in the much-nicer morning weather. Ronnie was first to the hay and munched happily while Debbie lagged behind. The caregiver watched for a minute, then asked Deb, “What’s up, Miss? Deep thinking?” Debbie (photo right) was very still for another moment, then suddenly began kicking the snow with her front feet—back and forth, front to back, swishing in all directions. She swung her trunk around in it a bit, then changed direction and walked quickly and playfully toward her sister. As always, her silly smile was contagious, and the caregiver grinned and bid the ladies farewell until time to deliver their hay for lunch
 
Africa was covered this weekend in snow and ice; it looked absolutely beautiful. The girls thought it was a pretty sight, but to be admired from the warm distance of their barn. The caregivers tried to get them out with treats, but they would not come out. So the caregivers cleaned around them, shifting them into different stalls to pressure wash their stalls. The girls had access to their porches and to the outside, just in case they changed their minds.

The next day the caregivers cleaned a pathway in the snow and tried again. It was a warm and sunny day. Tange was following her caregiver for some treats a short distance, but then decided to go back into the barn. Then a log was placed outside, smeared with peanut butter and topped off with cranberries. This was too good to pass up and Tange came out. Flora needed something more than just the peanut butter and cranberry log, but she came out for some cabbage. After an hour, the caregivers were treated to a snow and mud party, both Tange and Flora had the best time in the snow/mud.
 
Not only did it snow this week (about 4 inches) but then we had some sleet to top it off. This left us with a lot of snow that had a crunchy slippery layer on top. And for an elephant, it seemed the thing to do was smash it, kick it, and occasionally throw it. Tarra ran out and immediately started kicking with all four legs, barking and trumpeting, while Bella ran around eating the pieces she threw and barking. Sissy and Winkie seemed more fascinated by the noise initially; Winkie just kept stepping and stepping. It wasn’t until they got further into the habitat that Winkie began to kick and spin and stand on her head, while Sissy watched calmly. Of course, Sissy was the one who started the silliness by trumpeting as the four wheeler drove by, which started them both running. Dulary and Misty would stand there motionless for about 2-3 minutes, then break into a sprint, sliding all over the place. Not only did they run forwards, but Misty decided to try it backwards, taking out a few small unsuspecting trees along the way. And Miss Shirley found a lovely quiet spot, a little further into the habitat, to take a nice quiet nap in the sun.
 
Elephant Milestones:  Four years ago on February 7th Debbie and Ronnie arrived at the Sanctuary.

February 9th is the fifth anniversary of Lota’s death. On that same day in 2006 we welcomed Billie and Frieda.