February 16, 2009

Only a week into February, and Shirley, Bunny, and Tarra have already made it to the bottom of Lake Valley.  The warm weather brings better spirits to everyone, elephants and caregivers alike.  This morning at breakfast Shirley, Bunny, and Tarra were halfway to the lake.  All very rumbly and talkative, and it was easy to tell that they loved spending the nights outside under the almost-full moon.  By dinner time Tarra had reached the lake and made it to one of her favorite summertime hang outs – Trout Run Pasture.  Shirley and Bunny were about fifty feet from where the path opens up into the first pasture that borders the lake. 


Sissy and Winkie are also enjoying the warmer weather.  Sissy has taken a very long nap in the sun each day – Winkie standing over her keeping a watchful eye, of course.  Dulary and Misty (pictured below)  never stop goofing around regardless of whether it is cold or hot, but even they seem more relaxed now that the cold weather has broken. 


Needless to say, when our ladies are happy we are happy.  Now if it would only stay this nice!  A very warm rainy day recently meant a very muddy Misty and Dulary.  On their way out to the South Yard after breakfast, Misty and Dulary were slipping and sliding all the way down the trail as they ran.  Misty seemed to decide that if she was going to come close to falling, she was going to put herself face first in the mud instead.  She stopped and put her forehead down in a big slop of mud and rubbed back and forth while alternating which rear leg she lifted.  Dulary watched for a bit, and then decided that she was going to rub her head all over Misty.  So with Misty’s face in the mud and backside in the air, Dulary put her face on Misty’s back and imitated her.  After several minutes of this, they both got up and walked into Delhi’s yard, where they found another big mucky area in which to roll.  They repeated their mud diving in four areas before they settled at a pile of hay, eating for only moments before Misty lay down for a nap


This week Ned was outside but seemingly unsure of what to do and where to go.  When a flattened small Jolly Ball was kicked into his yard, he immediately engaged and ran to the ball, stepped on it and kicked it a few times. After having played with it a bit, he turned away but shortly followed the employee walking down the driveway, and then Ned crossed his yard and made a full circle of his habitat. He is packing away the groceries, which we all hope will convert into added pounds of body weight.


Minnie was determined to spend some time with her friend Debbie this week and nothing, especially a little hot wire, was going to stand in her way! Minnie bent a tree down over a section of hotwire and stepped right over into the area where Deb and Ron were.  She interacted with Debbie, and after some full body trunk touches, Minnie actually walked away! Minnie did not appear to be overly pushy, or demanding, she spent her time with Deb, and then she walked away. What a change for Minnie.


Liz and Frieda had a long nap day on Tuesday, Liz lay down, and then just as Frieda lay down beside her, Lizzie got up, squeaked over to Frieda who immediately got up. Frieda and Liz touched all over, then Liz lay down on the other side of Frieda, who finished her nap standing up! 


Billie had a swim on Tuesday and, as this was being written, we were in the middle of a huge rainstorm, and of course Minnie was in the pond, her typical February activity, with Lottie close by on the pond's edge.


Our friends at Grandma’s Molasses are featuring a Sanctuary Elephant of the Month, every month.  Always the groundbreaker, can you guess who is the first?  (Hint: she turned 35 on Valentine’s Day!!)  


February 19: Five years ago Tange and Zula graced us with their arrival at the Sanctuary.


Ringling Trial:  The Ringling Trial begins its second week, we wish Carol very well as she is off to give expert witness testimony next week.


Amboseli Poaching:  Cynthia Moss writes about very serious and disturbing elephant poaching and ivory trade news in  the  Amboseli area.

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