April 27, 2009


Ned learned early on that he could take drinks from one of the two automatic water troughs inside his barn.  Recently, he found that he had a trough outside as well.  To his caregiver's delight, Ned not only drank from it, but also realized that he could bathe himself with the same water as the trough would keep replenishing itself as needed. This behavior quickly became "play" for Ned as he sprayed water everywhere just for fun.  Later that day, Ned brought his new knowledge into his barn that had been cleaned, squeegeed, and set-up with fresh hay. On that day, his caregiver didn't need a shower at the end of her shift! But she got it anyway.

This week Scott and the fence crew are taking advantage of Sissy, Winkie, Shirley, Bunny, and Tarra all being on the north side of the property by building corrals in high elephant traffic areas near the Black Berry Gauntlet and on the trail to the lake.  These four new corrals will have water spigots in the center of them and automatic waterers on the perimeter to allow the girls to either drink when they please or for caregivers to water from the hose.  Making water available in this manor will mean that the ladies are less dependant on water deliveries from the water trailer.  Ultimately, it will give them greater access to water so that if they decide they want a drink in the middle of the night they can get it without having to walk to a stream or the barn.  Once the ladies migrate south corrals will be installed on the northern part of the property. 

The Threesome have been staying out much later in the evenings lately with the warmer weather. Caregivers deliver their 5pm meal out in the pasture where the girls are contentedly grazing on the long spring grass late into the night. Frieda selects several napping spots throughout the day, many times joined by Liz, always watched over by the ever-protective Billie. 

Minnie has relished the rain storms lately, taking her usual dips in the pond as the rain and/or hail come down. She also makes a big display of redecorating the mud banks along the creek, making large holes as she tosses the fresh mud all over herself and anyone in the immediate vicinity! Lottie is usually nearby, enjoying the water as much as her silly sister. Billie also seems to enjoy the pond during the rain, and can often be seen "bottoms up" as she puts her face toward the bottom and rolls her body around.

Deb and Ron have spent several warm days wandering to the back of Bunny's trail, napping back in the trees as a caregiver drives right past them searching them out to give them their hay. They usually give themselves away with the snap of a branch or flap of an ear. They have also been returning to the barn a nice pink/orange color thanks to the mud at the south pond, where they enjoy a nice long mid-day drink from the hose. During sunny days when they choose to stay down in the lower night yard extension, they can be found in the afternoon in the very center of the pasture soaking up the sun. Ah, spring seems to have finally decided to stick around.

This week the African Girls have been everywhere. They have shown us that there is a way into the deepest gullies, and up on top of the muddiest hills. Also, that if we just stay put they will make a nice wide path to where ever we are.  Knocking down trees, disappearing into the woods, hiding during hail storms is some of the many new qualities Flora & Tange has shared with us this week.

April 25 marks the anniversary of sweet Barbara's arrival back in 1996. She joined Tarra as the Sanctuary's second resident. We also commemorate Tina's birthday on April 26, 1970 in Portland, OR

The May 4 edition of People Magazine  features those Best Forever Friends, Tarra and Bella.



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