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By: The Elephant Sanctuary

December 28, 2011

Gifts the Girls love to receive…

The Caregivers and Girls celebrated the season with a tradition at The Sanctuary, the annual trimming of a Christmas tree for each elephant, artfully decorated by the Caregivers with yuletide yummies. The Girls savor their trees, and the Caregivers have a wonderful time watching them pick out and taste their edible ornaments in turn.


Flora devouring her cedar Christmas tree.

In Africa, the trees were decorated with cored apples and pears, Twizzlers, peppermints, and peanut butter. Caregiver Maddie also trimmed Flora and Tange's trees with the insides of the fruits after they were cored. Flora's Caregivers picked out an Eastern Red Cedar for her Christmas tree. She pulled all the apples and pears off the branches first then moved on to the peanut butter globs and Twizzler strings. Then she moved the tree out of the way with her trunk to eat the wayward "ornaments" that had fallen to the ground. Lastly, she browsed on some of her Christmas tree's branches. Flora seemed very pleased with her present and was eyeing Tange's as she ate hers. 

Tange eating her edible ornaments.

Tange also deliberately ate all the pears and apples first, and then sucked off all the peanut butter. She then moved on to the Twizzlers and bits of apple and pear. Tange has a way of showing her pleasure when she eats something especially delicious. It's a sure sign to her Caregivers she's appreciating her meal. She'll pause, close her eyes and suck on her morsel, and you can see her cheeks moving as she savors it. It never fails to make her Caregivers smile. Tange devoured all but a couple of pieces of her tree, which she promptly threw on her back!

One of Asia's artfully decorated Christmas trees.

Asia's Top Ten Favorite Gifts the Girls Receive:

  1. Heated barns for cold winter nights
  2. Caregivers who deliver the goods to them wherever they choose to wander
  3. Plants for eating
  4. Ponds & lakes for swimming
  5. Deer and turkeys for chasing
  6. Tires and toys for carrying Mud for mudding
  7. Dust for dusting
  8. Space for wandering
  9. And most importantly…..Each other

Q's Top Ten Favorite Gifts the Girls Receive:

  1. Jelly beans (Billie)
  2. Big, sturdy balls that don't break if she sits on them (Minnie)
  3. Mud to keep the bugs away in summer (Ronnie)
  4. Someone to pet her tongue (Lizzie)
  5. A soft, grassy hill to nap on (Frieda)
  6. A warm, toasty barn (Debbie)
  7. A big black culvert (Minnie)
  8. Tulip poplar branches (Billie)
  9. Potatoes (Frieda)
  10. Hickory branches (all the girls)

All of us at The Elephant Sanctuary hope that your holiday season was abundant with gifts that filled your hearts with joy!

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