Since his arrival, Artie has had many opportunities to engage with his female African counterparts, Sukari and Tange. Notably, Flora has chosen not to partake in these interactions, until now!
On a recent fall morning, with the beautiful cool weather finally here, Artie and Flora had their first encounter at the fence line. This highly anticipated meeting involved lots of sniffing and gentle touching with their trunks, soft rumbling sounds, and a bit of spirited and friendly sparring initiated by Flora. Artie displayed his usual respectful demeanor, even offering his hind foot for a sniff. Staff witnessed this positive interaction from a distance, taking a break from their tasks of creating enrichment items for the elephants in preparation of the week's cooler seasonal weather.
The recent expansion of Artie's habitat space at the Elephant Health Care Center has kept Artie active, as has embarked on extensive exploration day and night. In the course of one of these adventures, in an area referred to by Staff as "Sleepy Hollow," Artie eventually found his way to the fence line at Asia Barn. To The Sanctuary's great delight, Artie had the opportunity to meet Nosey early one sunny morning. Opting to engage in hours of friendly sparring and trunk touches, the pair eventually parted ways, though Artie lingered around Asia Barn, perhaps in the hope of another encounter with Nosey. Just a few days later, they chose to interact once more. This time, Artie, possibly as a gesture of respect, greeted Nosey by lowering himself onto his elbows. Reciprocating this behavior, Nosey mirrored the action, lowering onto her elbows while both presented their feet. This mutual behavior is a promising indicator of their comfort and camaraderie, and the staff is thrilled to see the emergence of this companionship and the many others all happening at The Sanctuary.