Home / News / EleNotes / May 10, 2010
By: The Elephant Sanctuary

May 10, 2010

Whew! What a weekend! Last Saturday, May 2, brought more thunderstorms that dumped buckets and buckets of rain. Late in the afternoon, the Sanctuary cell phones lost their signal, bringing all communication to a halt. As the rain continued, and the creek that runs through the Divas' habitat grew higher, caregivers began to reminisce about last year's flood. This seemed smaller by comparison. Boy, were we wrong!
Sunday morning revealed the car road to the Q Barn's gate was underwater in several places. The 4-wheeler road through the habitat is right next to the creek, so needless to say, that was underwater as well. The caregivers trying to come to work had to go around the property to the Asia side and be driven in on 4-wheelers. Even the 4-wheeler journey was tricky, as the caregivers had to take many improvised routes and trails to get around trees and the still-rising creek. The safest plan ended up having the caregivers start over from Africa, and take a trail from that direction.
Before anyone worries about the Divas, be assured that they couldn't seem to see what all the fuss was about. Minnie and Lottie were out in the habitat, munching away on grass, watching the caregivers attempt to make it to the barn with looks on their faces that said, "Oh, there you are. Happen to have any treats?" Debbie and Ronnie preferred to shelter in the barn. Ronnie wandered outside into the rain around noon, where she found all the new "ponds" very entertaining. She stood in water about halfway up her legs and splashed her trunk around happily.

Billie enjoys playing in the rising creek!

On that flooded Sunday morning, Dulary, Misty, Sissy and Winkie were nice and dry in the barn. However, Shirley and Tarra saw nothing wrong with staying out all night. Shirley was found at Marcella's, which is high ground, playing in a mud puddle of all things and being very silly and smiley.

Tarra had been down at the lake. The problem on Sunday was trying to reach her: The creek had overrun its banks and you couldn't go all the way down the hill to get to the lake. After taking a side hill, it became very clear just how flooded things were. All of the pastures in that area were at least partially underwater. The road that goes around the lake was completely submerged.

So, it was back up the hill and around to the other side of the property to try a different way. This way was much easier, with a few fallen trees and some mini-rapids finding their way down the hills. At the bottom of the hill, you could see that the lake had spilled over into both Left and Right Fields, and our dry creek beds were no longer dry. There in the back corner, just grazing by the tree line, were Tarra and Bella, apparently wondering what took so long to find and feed them (it's a toss-up over which one likes their food more).
Around noon, when the rain stopped for two minutes, everyone left the barn. Sis and Winks went by one of their usual favorite spots staying somewhat close to the barn and making their own mud wallow. Almost immediately afterwards, Misty and Dulary left the barn. It was nap time for Misty.

By 5 pm feed it had stopped raining and the sun began to show itself. The waters receded somewhat, making it possible to again navigate the lake. Tarra and Bella went for a walk to the other side of the creek, taking a tour of the damage. Even though it had been raining steadily for two days, Shirley drank really well when the water trailer was brought out to her that night.
Left Field and Right Field are back to what is now their norm. Right Field has a sand bar at the front that Tarra seems to love as she has been seen dusting herself there. The creek continued to overflow in certain areas, and our little cement bridge over it doesn't seem to exist anymore, though it just may be covered by rocks and dirt. The debris in the lake is clearing out a bit with the water remaining the churned-up color brown and most of the fields smelling like mulch.
Considering everything during the flash flooding, all went really well. Our generators kicked on, so we didn't lose power; our Girls seemed to enjoy getting very wet (even Sissy); and it's fun to drive a four wheeler through water that is half way up your tires - just every now and then.

See photos in the May 5th Ele-Diary.
We Remember:
Last year on May 14, Bunny passed on at age 57. The next day, we lost Ned at the young age of 21. Nine years ago, on May 18 sweet Barbara passed on. She was 35 years old. We remember all three in reflective thought.


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