The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

African Ele-Diary 2008

May 9, 2008

It's the simple things!

Today Flora was given a very large, very heavy truck tire. Oh boy, what fun she had. First she sniffed it, then tapped it with her trunk and then turned around and gave it a mighty kick. Now, confident that the tire was no threa,t she picked it up and tossed it into the air. With graceful agility, she effortlessly kicked it a couple of times with her back feet. Then the fun really began; for the next twenty minutes Flora had a blast with her new toy tossing it into the air, kicking it around, balancing it on her head, lacing it over her trunk and balancing on her back. In her enthusiasm, she threw it over the fence, (oops!) pulled it back, stared at it for a second, and then started all over again. Big girl, Big Fun!! A whole twenty minutes of pure fun.


February 27, 2008

The caregivers noticed that Flora was not out exploring, but standing near the barn. When she came inside she was agitated and tusked the bars of her corral, which is a typical behavior displayed when an elephant is disgruntled about something. Flora has not acted agitated about anything in many months, so the caregivers were acutely interested in what was going on. At close look, a caregiver saw an area of raised skin, a bump you might say, on Flora’s chest between her front legs. She seemed very agitated and kept rubbing at it.

Photos were taken and several people tried to identify what might have caused the bump. It did indeed look like, and Flora’s reaction made us suspect, a bite. Since the temperature has been so cold, the bite from a poisonous snake was ruled out. Fire ants would not cause such a reaction, nor was there any known plant in her habitat that would cause such a reaction. The only thing that might have caused the injury is if Flora had slipped and fallen on her chest while running or climbing and slammed down hard on something like a rock or sharp stump of a tree…heaven knows the African habitat has lots of tree stumps. Over the course of three days the bump doubled in size. Flora was given remedies to reduce the pain and swelling and after 24 hours she seemed to ignore the unsightly bump completely. After three days the swelling was gone and Flora was on to new adventures.

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February 20, 2008

Since the completion of Flora's acres, Tange and Flora have been spending a considerable amount of time together. Their relationship was always amiable but now they are becoming truly dear friends. Well matched both physically and in personality, these two 'kids' spend hours engaged in rough and tumble play. True to their species, the face to face contest of strength is their favorite game. They are so evenly matched that neither is the winner on a consistent basis. Since Tange is not easily intimidated she does not back down if Flora starts to bully her, in fact she either bullies back or simply changes the game.


February 19, 2008

A leisurely wallow in a mud hole made for two mammoth beauties is how Tange and Zula spent their day…their anniversary day. What a fun-loving pair these two have turned out to be. Their adventures are constant as they wander the wilds of their sanctuary world. They have become expert mud hole excavators, never missing an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their efforts…covered with mud from the tips of their trunks to the hairs on their tails.


January 8, 2008

Tange and Flora have a good time in Flora's Acres.

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