August Elephant Explorations
August has been shaping up to be a very active and exciting month for the elephants at The Sanctuary, with new behaviors, new areas to explore, and new introductions.
With the Africa Habitat expansion now complete, Flora was the first elephant to be granted access and explore the new surroundings. Caregivers have dubbed the expansion East Habitat, and many gathered around to watch as the gate was opened and Flora confidently took to the trails. On her first day exploring the space, Flora was observed grazing by a newly discovered pond and exploring the hillside until dusk.
A buffer between the Q Habitat and the new Africa Habitat expansion separates the two herds of elephants, but allows them to see each other from a distance. During Flora’s first day of explorations, Debbie, Minnie, and Ronnie all lined up against the Q fence line to watch Flora as she passed, extending their trunks in her direction.
Many of the elephants stay out in the habitats, away from the barns on summer nights. That was the case with Flora on her first Friday in the East Habitat. Saturday morning, Flora did not present herself at the barn for breakfast. Caregivers observed signs that she had travelled throughout the East Habitat overnight, noting that many small trees had been pushed over along the trails. By mid-morning, Flora made her way back to the Annex fence line for feeding. Caregivers are excited to see where her explorations take her next, and The Elephant Sanctuary would like to extend a special thank you to all of the donors who made this expansion possible for Flora and the other African elephants.
Having successfully carried out introductions between Rosie, Sukari, and Tange as well as Tange and Hadari—this month, Caregivers introduced Flora and Hadari for the first time. The two were granted access to the South Yard of the Africa Habitat together and were observed two grazing near one another, though mostly choosing to explore the habitat area individually.
Care Staff is pleased with this introduction, just as they’ve been with the other African introductions this summer—all relatively uneventful, indicating that all five African elephants may all be able to share the expanded Africa Habitat together in the future.
In the Asia Habitat, Tarra was observed for the first time swimming all the way across the lake. Caregivers watched as she made her way into the water, walking at first, then swimming fully submerged with her head bobbing and trunk held above water. When she reached the shoreline on the other side, she took some time to play and dunk herself before climbing out again.
Make More Experiences Like These Possible, Support The Summer Appeal!
Whether it’s taking a mud bath to cool down and protect her skin from pests and the sun’s rays, or swimming in ponds for recreation and rehabilitation, every elephant needs a safe and secure natural habitat. A gift of $20 equals two bales of hay for one elephant and a gift of $316 equals daily cost of facilities for one elephant. Your contribution to the 2016 Summer Appeal at any level will have an immediate impact by providing resources to meet essential mission-critical needs. Consider a gift to our Summer Appeal today!