June 29, 2012
As Tennessee temperatures climb, Caregivers are helping to make sure the Girls are keeping their cool.
Caregiver Brianna writes, "The other Caregivers and I turned on the sprinkler (Misty's favorite) because it was exceptionally hot on this particular day, but Misty was nowhere to be found. Judging by the time of the day, we supposed she was napping, so we peeked in through the fence further into the habitat and saw her lying down, blissfully sleeping in the shade, with Dulary standing right over her."
She continued, "This is often something a mother elephant will do while her baby sleeps, so that made it even cuter. After a few minutes, we saw Misty move her trunk around, so we knew she was definitely awake. 'Misty, the sprinkler's on! Don't you want to cool off?' we asked. She lifted her trunk up, telescopic style, and sniffed in our direction, but found us to be uninteresting. We threw bananas near her head to entice her (as she can't resist a good treat), but she just continued to lie down; she lifted her trunk up, gingerly picked up the banana, and ate it while lying down. She's so laid back, and I love that about her! We tried to ask Dulary to walk toward the sprinkler, thinking that would encourage Misty, but she continued to stand over her, ever watchful. Dulary would not leave her side; a dedicated best friend for sure."
Eventually, Misty's love for water convinced her to rise from reclining, and she went and enjoyed a nice refreshing bath right before dinner, while Dulary dusted herself nearby.
Over at Q
Did you know we sometimes have pink elephants at Q-barn? Ronnie and Debbie love to roll around in the red clay dirt and dust found in the Night Yard area of the habitat, and afterward their Caregivers will find them a beautiful dusty rose color. The Q Caregivers said, "We also have pink elephants after they have a bath! All of their pink pigmentation on their skin is more visible when their bodies are wet. After a bath, we will start with a grey muddy elephant and end up with a pink-nosed, pink-tipped ears, and pink-forehead elephant, like Min! She has a surprisingly large amounts of pink skin. They can really look like entirely different eles sometimes!"
The other day, Caregivers Kristy and Angela asked Flora to come into the barn and go into the chute for an updated weight. They have also been working with Flora so she will be acclimated to going into the chute for veterinary care. Flora has previously not been entirely comfortable with going into the chute completely, or been willing to stand still. But one day recently, after many months of work easing her stress about the chute - Kristy and Angela opened the barn for her, and Flora immediately stepped into the chute, without coaxing! She enjoyed the treats which consisted of alfalfa cubes and bananas, but most of all seemed to really enjoy the praise from Angela and Kristy. "After we gave her lots of excited compliments, Flora began to walk out of the chute, turn around, and walk back in. Then she would stand there and look at us, as she raised her trunk to her head and waved, typical Flora style. She was so endearing and you could tell she was incredibly proud of herself. She turned the process into a game and it was so nice to see her enjoying it and having fun!" Kristy said.