September 14, 2009

A nice calm week in Africa. The girls are still going to all corners of their habitat. Flora has not been pushing Tange at all this week. Well—except for when Tange backed up into Flora, Flora tried to go around her, but Tange put her butt in the direction that Flora wanted to go. After about three times, Flora had enough and nudged her with her tusks. Tange got the hint and sped up to stay away from her tiny tusks.

Foot care has been done outside with Flora. With some target training, she moved her foot where the caregiver needed her foot to be and was very willing to stand there for a little while for her pedicure. Of course, in return, she got bananas.

Although Ronnie and Debbie pretty much stick to the same routine when it comes to drinking at the South Pond, sometimes they give caregivers a little bit of extra entertainment while we wait. For the most part, Debbie drinks first; this is just how it is. She takes her time, fiddles around a bit, and keeps a close eye on Ronnie in the background. Ronnie almost always waits off to the side, patiently anticipating her turn with the hose. Sometimes if Ron decides her turn is close, she will casually stroll behind Debbie to come closer to the fence. Debbie answers this by moving her hind end to the left, sometimes blocking Ronnie’s path, just until she’s done. Yesterday, however, was the second time they engaged in a little ritual: Debbie begins to drink, and she seems to prefer doing so with the hose draped over the fence cable, catching the stream in her trunk. Ronnie did her casual “slide” behind her sister, coming to the fence next to her. Debbie looked over at her, shifted over a bit, but didn’t seem to mind this time. First Debbie filled her trunk, and then a nose snuck under the stream as Ronnie reached to get a sip for herself! Then Deb, then Ron, trunk #1, trunk #2, one for me, one for you, back and forth. Ronnie always keeps an eye turned toward Debbie to make sure this isn’t too intrusive, and this is how we drink on occasion at the South Pond Ele-pub!

Shirley spent the week in Marcella’s Road with Sissy and Winkie. Several times since Bunny’s passing, Sis and Winks have come to spend time with Shirley, and each time Shirley has left almost immediately upon their arrival. At the beginning of the week Tarra was in Marcella’s Road with Shirley, but even after Tarra went back down to the lake to visit Misty and Dulary, Shirley stayed. Initially Shirley spent her time on opposite branches as Sissy and Winkle, but as the week progressed, they would cross over, spend some time with each other, and would be found in close proximity at feeds. Shirley looked calm, mellow, and smiley to the caregivers as we drove up. Shirley had opportunities where she could have left without having any interaction with Sis and Winks, and at times she was right by the entrance, but instead she continued on to yet another branch in that area.  Sometime after late feed last night, Shirley did walk away from Marcella’s, a little bit down the road and found a nice spot in the woods where she napped for most of the following day, recuperating from her exciting week.