April 26, 2004 - Happy 34th Birthday, Tina!
10:00 p.m. What a day! It started out special and continued long into the night. Tina and Sissy had a very touching time together late tonight. This time Tina initiated the exchange and Sissy expertly helped Tina feel comfortable. Over the winter months these two girls have developed quite a fondness for each other. I have no doubt that Sissy will be the one to coax Tina out into the big outdoors soon. What a blessing they are to each other.
Tina turned 34 today...how do we know? She was captive born. All of our other elephants' birthdays are chosen for them, but this is really the day of Tina's birth. It is strange to consider if Tina might sense that this is her birthday but consider this: over the past two days Tina has broken into song on numerous occasions which causes us to wonder. Could she know this is a special day? Does her internal clock calculate a year's time? Impossible, how could this be? Well we are not saying it is so; we are only making the observation that Tina has been singing for two days now. What is she singing about? We will allow ourselves the fantasy that Tina is singing her birthday song.
Today Tina had her first taste of a non-dairy product that is made to taste like ice cream. Normally we don't feed her anything that would not normally be found in her diet in the wild, but we indulged Tina knowing what a sweet tooth she has. Ice Cream was always included in the special treats that Tina received over the years at the Vancouver Game Farm. Tofutti smells and tastes like ice cream but does not contain any diary products or harmful chemicals. Made from soybeans it does fall into the category of food that is not harmful to her. As you can see, she really enjoyed it!
Tina has been with us for nine months, and although her recovery has been slow, it will be permanent. She has changed her eating habits to better satisfy her nutritional needs, she bonded with all of the other elephants, and she of course continues to enjoy being showered with attention from her caregivers. Now we just have to get her to appreciate the big outdoors on a fulltime basis instead of only on occasion.
See Slide Show! (Happy Birthday, Tina!)
Several of Tina's fans have sent her birthday cards: