Donna and Tange Share Habitat Space

The Elephant Sanctuary is dedicated to ensuring that each elephant not only receives individualized care, expansive habitats for exploration, and the freedom to make their own choices, but also the opportunity to live among their own kind, engaging in social interactions as often as they choose.

As you might have read in a recent update, Staff and supporters were thrilled to witness the long-anticipated interactions between Tange, Sukari, and their newest companion, Donna, through protective fence lines. Slow introductions are important for building long-lasting bonds, and providing the freedom for the elephants to acclimate with each other at their own pace is priority at The Sanctuary. Initial interactions are through protected barriers in the barn and within the habitat to help keep a respectful and safe distance until the elephants show signs of comfort with one another.

After successful greetings over their shared fence lines, Donna began showing signs of readiness to take their interactions to the next step. So, on a recent quiet morning, Care Staff decided to provide Donna and Tange with direct access to each other within their shared habitat and without protective barriers for the first time. As Staff stood nearby, Donna indulged in a plentiful assortment of fresh produce "treats," while Tange made a slow, peaceful approach. When Donna became aware of Tange's presence, she raised her tail high, perked up her ears, and swiftly walked away to maintain some distance. Meanwhile, Tange, seemingly unfazed by Donna's presence, continued to snack and dust herself with dirt, all the while Donna observing from afar. After several hours of both elephants grazing and dusting while keeping their space, Donna eventually decided to allow Tange to approach.

Near the comfort of their barn, with her backside kept turned toward Tange, Donna stood with her tail extended, allowing Tange to give a few sniffs and gentle touches with her trunk. It didn't take long for them to become comfortable with one another, their tails wagging as they stood calmly. With a few low rumbles and tender touches, standing side by side for some time, the two of them carried on with their day, peacefully foraging in the warmth of the sun.

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