March 23, 2012
Tarra has a long history of curiosity for all of nature's creatures, including a rather unusual affinity for dogs. Since the loss of her long time companion Bella, she had not sought new canine companionship nor paid much attention to the other dogs that make the Asia barn their home at The Sanctuary. During a recent encounter, though, she seemed to be, for the first time, somewhat interested by the presence of one of them. Tarra had decided to come inside the barn for breakfast to take shelter from a Tennessee storm. Caregiver Laurie said, “She had just finished her breakfast and I went over to her to greet her. One of the dogs, Gumba, was following me because he is afraid of thunderstorms. Tarra came over, stared at him, and started making happy noises. I leaned down and petted Gumba, and told Tarra how happy it made me to see her happy, and she rumbled and reached out toward him. Later Gumba and I returned and she had the same reaction. It was so great to see.” Tarra was also recently spotted exploring the other branch of Marcella's for the first time since Bella passed away. Tarra and Bella's mutual devotion and their close relationship was beautiful to witness, and will always be unique. There will never be another Bella. However, Tarra's recent positive reaction to Gumba and her extended wanderings in Marcella's are reminders that the warm spring weather, her sister elephants' support, as and as always - time – is helping Tarra heal.
Winkie just had her first PC training session at the new training wall (thank you Facilities crew!) in the Asian barn, and Caregiver Clint and Director of Elephant Husbandry Steve were really pleased with her progress. Winkie was very focused and agreeable and did a great job placing parts of her body where she was asked - she was targeting very well. In just a few trials, Winkie greatly improved her lean-ins. She also allowed Caregivers to touch and handle her ear. Winkie even got a pedicure of her two front feet – complete with cuticle cream.
Over at Q
Billie has been very accommodating with Caregivers during their requests for her to move into other areas of the habitat in preparation Liz's TB treatments and Frieda's foot treatments. They've figured out upping the ante with a few apples is the key to Billie's cooperation! Deb and Ron have been enjoying the warm weather, even when it includes some rain. When Caregivers arrive in the morning, Deb and Ron are far out in their habitat enjoying the fresh grass in the pasture, or new buds off the trees that are up the hill in the woods. This morning, Caregiver Ashleigh was surprised to find them out in the pasture even though it was raining. Both came back to the barn in the afternoon quite decorated with mud, and Ronnie had dusted a lovely collection of dead leaves on her back.
Caregiver Angela caught some beautiful footage of Flora and Tange in Africa, and we're working hard to create a new video for you to all enjoy on YouTube. Stay Tuned!