September 7, 2012

Deb and Ron coming out of their pond
Deb and Ron coming out of their pond

The best moments in Sanctuary for Caregivers are when we experience the girls letting loose, full of excitement and enjoying their sanctuary with reckless abandon. The other morning was one of those amazing times with Debbie and Ronnie.

There is nothing quite like a Fire Hose Elephant bath in the morning - it is truly a favorite summer pastime for the Girls.  Debbie and Ronnie love getting baths - sometimes both want a nice long bath, or what Caregivers like to refer to as a “water massage.” Some days they are satisfied with just a quick drink.

To determine if the girls would like a bath, Caregivers typically create a rain mist to see how they respond before going for the full body treatment. On this day, Debbie became very excited playing in her rain mist.  Her excitement was infectious and caught the attention of Ronnie who was outside the barn. Ronnie came sprinting back into the barn and ran directly into the water. In a matter of seconds, both Ronnie and Debbie were squeaking and chirping, even trumpeting, with tremendous animation. 

According to Caregiver Lindsay, “Hearing these girls being so vocal was truly special because they are typically pretty quiet elephants.” Soon Debbie chose to lie down on the ground, which allowed Caregivers to give her a nice backwash and massage.  Caregiver Lindsay recalled, “Then the Girls just let loose! Ronnie was shaking her body, dancing all over the stall. Debbie was just moving around, kicking out her legs, and bouncing from one side to the other. Their trunks were out and exploring each other…. They would line up head to tail and run in circles, Debbie going forward and Ronnie going backwards. Then they would switch, circling and circling, enjoying getting drenched by the hose.” Slowly, as all the mud and grass fell from their bodies, their beautiful gray and pink skin began to reappear.  



Caregivers Lindsay and Angela managed to catch all the fun on tape – as you can hear on the tape the Caregivers were laughing hard and doing their own version of an elephant trumpet “Woohooooo.” 

The Caregivers were in tears from laughing so hard at the Girls' child-like exuberance that morning. Caregiver Lindsay: “I know I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard at their antics that morning. This was probably my favorite moment that I have had working at the Sanctuary. I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it is to see these Girls having so much fun with each other and in front of us, their Caregivers. To know they have so much trust in us to let loose like they did and knowing that we can provide stimulating enrichment for them, is such a good feeling.”