July 12, 2010
Dulary is the New Asian Barn's "walking cloud of dust." She is similar to Ronnie in that you can spot her from a distance as you look toward the rising cloud of dust, slowly dissipating into the air. After Dulary and Misty finish their swim, it's straight to the hay for Misty, and straight to the good dusting spots for Dulary. Dulary retains the pink hue she picks up from the pond mud for only a few moments, before it is covered with a fresh layer of dust that sticks to her damp skin. She follows up the initial coating with some rubbing and scratching, then back for more dust. Upon approaching Dulary, you are engulfed in your own cloud of dust if you are coming from downwind on the 4-wheeler. As you get closer, Dulary usually gives a little body shake, which loosens everything she has layered on top of herself. All at once, a thick layer of dirt hits the ground, making it look as though she is surrounded by fog. Even though the Girls have had a reprieve from the bugs lately, Dulary still revels in her dust baths.
Frieda, Billie, and Liz spend most of their time in the same area, unless one of them chooses to wander off on her own. The one exception is feeding time; each girl gets her own space because they each eat their grain and produce at different rates of speed.
The other night their caregiver tried to start feeding the trio of Girls at 10 o'clock. She thought Frieda was going to eat down at the lower end of their habitat; Billie could eat where the barn connects to the yard; and Liz could eat inside the barn. However, before the caregiver could close any gates, Billie quickly moved into the barn… okay, change of plans. Then before Billie could be fed inside the barn, she trumpeted and scurried out of the barn to find Frieda. Billie's "bracelet" could be heard jingling as she went out in the night looking for her friend Frieda. Another change of plans; now the caregiver thought she could feed Liz in the barn. Again, before feeding could start, Liz heard the trumpeting outside. "What'd you say Billie??" and out she went to see what was going on. The Girls changed their minds multiple times, and when they finally settled down and moved into good places for their individual dining, it was 10:30 pm.
While her new TB treatments are finally getting the levels we are looking for, Liz continues to be sensitive to the side effects. This past week Liz hasn't been feeling her best. She eats less than usual and sometimes looks uncomfortable. It seems that being in this state causes her to wander. She appears to be looking for something in parts of her habitat she doesn't usually visit. The other day, Liz had gone way up the hill, even further than where Billie goes. The caregiver wanted to give Liz what she was looking for, possibly hay, branches of favorite trees, or various fruits and vegetables—but nothing interested Liz. It was noticed that Liz did have a little soil on her tongue. Elephants have been known to get certain nutrients from soil, so perhaps this was what Liz was looking for.
The next day, the caregiver found out what Liz was really after. He saw Liz reaching through the fence to pull up a root. Liz had been looking for roots, hence the soil on her tongue. Because of the angle of reach, Liz couldn't quite get a strong enough grip with her trunk to pull a particular plant out of the ground. "Let me get it," the caregiver said, and gave it a tug and handed it over. Liz wrapped it in hay and ate it.
When Liz is not at her best, you get the nicest feeling when you find something she enjoys eating. So the caregiver pulled up another root. Liz ate more and more. But now, the easily accessible roots were gone. Crouching down, the caregiver raked fingers through the soil to find more roots. In turn, Liz raked the tip of her trunk though the same spot. It went back and forth, hand then trunk, hand then trunk, searching, searching - until another root was uncovered. Liz carefully blew air over the root and gently brushed off the dust as if the root was an artifact instead of a snack. The caregiver gave Liz more roots and hay until she seemed content. Equally important is the fact that Liz seemed to perk up during the "root game."