Billie’s Trip to the South Pond
On a recent afternoon, Debbie, Minnie, and Ronnie were foraging together in the Q meadow—but Billie was nowhere in sight. In the spacious habitats of The Sanctuary, it is common for elephants to explore beyond the line of sight from the barn…but not for Billie. Caregivers use the EleCams to monitor the movements of the elephants from afar. If the elephants are not visible from the EleCams, staff will then search the larger habitat by ATV. Out of sight and EleCam view, care staff were anticipating where Billie had wandered.
The month of May has already been full of new adventures for Billie. She had been given access to the 60 for the first time after showing interest in exploring farther from the barn (Read more in Big Steps for Billie EleNote). In her first foray into the 60, Billie walked all the way to “Minnie’s Pond,” and EleCam viewers were able to watch as she showered herself with water and mud in this previously uncharted territory. The month of May was also the five-year anniversary of the removal of Billie’s last chain.
Billie explored farther than she ever had before—all the way to the South Pond. Located on a high ridge, the South Pond is about a half mile away from the Quarantine Barn. Caregiver Briana said, “Billie spent the next four days by the pond, happily grazing, pushing over trees, and bathing herself in the muddy South Pond.”
Watch Billie at the South Pond below:
While opportunities for Billie and Ronnie to share space and socialize continue, Billie often seems more interested in exploring the habitat on her own. Meanwhile, Billie’s Quarantine habitat-mates, Minnie, Ronnie, and Debbie are still spending much of their time together as a trio.
With summer approaching, caregivers are looking forward to documenting Billie’s future explorations, as well as Minnie, Ronnie, and Debbie’s continued social development—and sharing them with The Sanctuary’s supporters.
To help The Elephant Sanctuary continue to provide lifelong care for Billie, Minnie, Ronnie, and Debbie, consider giving to the Summer Appeal. Your gift will help provide resources to meet mission-critical needs. Visit our online Summer Appeal page to donate today!