Billie's New Adventures
At the beginning of the week, Billie and Ronnie had a “playdate”, which is always an exciting event at The Sanctuary and allows Staff to observe how the elephants interact and bond. As Ronnie entered Pond Yard, where Billie was grazing, Billie squeaked and looked towards her. Ronnie approached and reached her trunk out to touch Billie’s tail and back. Billie, known to be a timid and fearful elephant, stood still. After saying their hello’s, they both wandered off in opposite directions to graze and explore.
A few hours later, Ronnie reunited with Minnie, while Billie chose to spend the entire night outside in Pond Yard.
After Billie spent the night traveling through Pond Yard, in the morning, Staff opened the gate to a section of Q Habitat known as the “40” — an area Billie does not often explore. She slowly but surely made her way to the gate, eating plenty of hay and bamboo along the way. To encourage her to venture throughout the 40, Staff scattered watermelon in the habitat. Billie grazed in the large grassy field and crossed the creek to see what was on the other side too!
While exploring the 40, Billie eventually walked to the fenceline where Minnie and Ronnie were standing. Minnie reached towards Billie with her trunk, and both elephants interacted positively, to Caregivers delight! In the past, Minnie has displayed dominant behavior toward Billie. Even though Billie has acres to roam, she chose to stand near Minnie and Ronnie. At The Sanctuary, we celebrate every stride, big and small, toward creating positive social opportunities for each elephant, and we look forward to seeing future interactions between Billie and her habitat-mates.