March 30, 2012

Misty and Dulary
Misty and Dulary took turns "dunking" their heads completely under water during their first swim of the season.

Beautiful Spring weather brought a lot of activity in the open sunny areas this week. Those viewing the Elecam online were treated to playful swims by Misty and Dulary, leisurely browsing on the plateau by Flora and Tange, and gentle greetings from Minnie, Debbie, and Ronnie.

In Asia
Winkie continues to do well with her new 'enrollment' in Protected Contact (PC) training. Last week Winkie stood for a full manicure on her right front foot (is it a manicure if it's front foot and a pedicure if it's back foot?) All of her toe nails were filed. Her pad looked good: didn't need any work. The following day, Winkie and Sissy had opted to stay in the barn overnight, so we did another PC training session with Winkie and worked on the requests for 'target', 'lean in,' and 'ear'. She again did great! She responds well to the verbal cues of "move up" and "back" which facilitates perfect body placement for her to present her ear through the gap in the PC wall for possible medical care.

Winkie takes her "star student" status in stride.

Dulary and Misty enjoyed their first Spring swim in the pond this week. It was a perfect day "at the beach" for them as they dived under, sprayed up, floated in sync and made their own ocean-like waves. Those watching on the EleCam had an entertaining view.

Misty and Dulary synchronize their water aerobics.

Over at Q
Frieda, Billie, and Liz are doing very well with the new method we've implemented to facilitate moving the trio around for Liz's necessary daily veterinary treatments. Each of them are being taught to "move up" or "come here" and then offered whatever treats tickle their fancy that day. Billie is often reluctant to move when gates are immediately in front of or behind her, but she's is gradually getting more comfortable with these scenarios. We can only assume that this reluctance, which is often seen in animals in captivity, may stem from a previous history of having gates slammed in front of or behind them as they passed through. We are working to help the Girls to accept gate movement around them so it is less stressful for them. To accomplish this, we offer them treats as they carry out a "move up" or "come here" from a cue, walking them to a distance away from any gate, then we present a bonus treat as they come to the location desired. We then calmly close the gate while they proceed to enjoy their treats.
Minnie, Ronnie, and Debbie greet over the fence line in their large meadow. They are often seen on the Elecam as they check in with each other several times daily.

Minnie and Ronnie greet each other affectionately over the fence.
Minnie could not resist a big trunk hug for Ronnie.

In Africa
Flora and Tange were seen quite a bit on the EleCam this week. With the gorgeous sunny weather and perfect temperatures, who could resist going up on the plateau to browse and munch on tree limbs? These elecam screen shots were taken by a viewer who shared them with us.


Flora in her habitat
Flora spent much time out in the sun, then returned to the fence line, seemingly to perch her trunk.


This past week we remember sweet Queenie, who passed on March 29, 2008 after having spent two years in Sanctuary with her sisters.

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