August 17, 2009

Tarra returned back to the barn for a very short visit with Misty and Dulary last week. After spending all week with Tarra at the lake, Shirley went back up the hill heading towards Marcella’s, and Tarra went to visit her other sisters.  When she visits, Tarra usually comes in the early afternoon and leaves some time after 6 pm feed.  This time she arrived around 3 pm and spent some quality time with Dulary and Misty.  The three of them stood together, making all of their strange vocalizations, running their trunks over each other and using each other as a scratching post.  After about an hour Tarra turned right back around and headed towards the lake.

Ronnie and Debbie are, once again, enjoying covering themselves in red mud during these warmer days. Often when coming for a drink, they will be caked up with the red clay, a great defense against the biting insects! Sometimes, perhaps really looking forward to her meal, Deb will wander off, leaving Ronnie turning all the way around with hose in her mouth to follow where her sister is going. Deb keeps peeking over her shoulder to make sure the caregiver knows just where to find her. Don’t worry, Deb, we can still see you!

Lottie and Minnie are really moving around lately. One morning, a caregiver went to the upper pond to let the girls know it was time for breakfast. Minnie started toward the 4 wheeler, while Lottie did an about-face, turned and went down the other side of the bank toward Field 4. The caregiver quickly looped around to try and avoid the “Lottie and Minnie lost each other” scenario! No worries; Min simply turned and followed the caregiver around the pond to join her sister in the stroll out toward Field 7, where they have been spending a lot of time in recent weeks.

The Threesome still switch back and forth, and move from spot to spot, deciding where the day should take them. This past Tuesday morning around 11 am, caregivers inside the barn heard LOUD, rumbles, roars, and bellows coming from the area behind the barn near the lower pond. Checking to make sure everyone was alright, caregivers observed Liz running from the pond to meet Billie at Night Yard 2 gate, followed closely by Frieda doing her characteristic “Frieda sprint”.  Used to Liz’s cute little squeaks and pops, caregivers were surprised to hear a huge rumbling ROAR come from her! She was as loud or louder than Billie this time, which takes some effort! Billie was not only chirping her usual noises, but letting out big trumpets and blowing from her trunk. Frieda’s adorable vocalizations could be heard amongst all of this, all the while her trade-mark tail straight up in the air like a flag pole. There was nothing obvious to attribute this playful silliness to, but how funny it was for everyone.

Also, a tidbit on Liz today….it was pretty hot all day, and in the afternoon she decided to take a dip in the pond. Billie and Frieda were enjoying the shade over in Jenny’s Wash, not too far away. Liz moved out into the water and stood. Just stood. Then, all of a sudden she began taking full advantage of having the pool all to herself. Rear legs alternating, then front legs joining in, splashing everywhere…then she began swinging her trunk over the surface of the water: back kick, back kick, front kick, side kick, right, left, over and over! She lay down on her belly, putting her face under with the tip of her trunk snorkeling up on one side. Then she stood up, just to sit down and move from side to side, thoroughly enjoying herself, and amusing a caregiver to no end. It’s true; the best entertainment is free!

There is a shift in the relationship between Tange and Flora. When they are taken away from the barn, Tange is always in the lead; she does look back to make sure that Flora is coming as well. In the beginning Flora would push Tange off her food and Tange would normally just walk away towards the second pile of food. This week it has been observed that Tange is not giving in to Flora's pushes anymore. She sticks her butt out and stands her ground. After Flora realizes that Tange is not going to move and has recovered from the shock, she walks towards the second pile of food.

We rmarked Tina’s Sanctuary Anniversary by posting an edited version of the John Kay’s narration In Memory of Tina video on YouTube and our Ele-Diary. Tina brought many gifts to the Sanctuary, including the wonderful and supportive group, the elefanherd. This group began a chat board which supports the Sanctuary in many many ways including a monthly wish blitz. We so appreciate their continued support.

There are some great new Tarra & Bella items coming out in our Gift Shop in the next couple of weeks. You can pre-order the new Tarra & Bella DVD featuring bonus features of just Tarra!

The National Geographic show featuring a segment about Tarra and Bella finally has an air date of September 26, and here is a great review of Carol’s new book from Publishers Weekly.