November 16, 2009

Tange and Flora have been spending the last couple of days on the Pipeline. This is a place away from the barn and any people driving up and down the roads; a very quiet little place just for them. The caregivers go up and down the self-made roads to give them their food, hay, treats and also water. Monday afternoon just before dinner Tange came back to the barn on her own, having had her dinner near the barn. Flora stayed up on the Pipeline and had her dinner there. At night feed Tange was back with Flora on the Pipeline.

This week all the leaves started to drop from the trees. The woods went from a rainbow of reds, yellows and oranges to a sea of silver and white from all the exposed bark of our many trees without all the leaves, allowing us to see rolling hill after rolling hill, and reminding us how much space the Girls do have here. The surroundings are perfect for a Sunday drive.

The weather has also been gorgeous with bountiful sunshine which has resulted in Tarra and Bella going back down by the lake. They were both bounding through the grass in one of the meadows, relishing the warm play time. Sis and Winks went to one of their favorite spots that is farther than they would usually wander at this time of the year, but with the temperatures still in the 60s at ten pm, there is no worry about getting back to the barn.  Misty and Dulary— well, of course, they went swimming. As soon as it gets slightly warm, they head straight for the water and roll around for a while, trying to climb all over each other and diving down to hide.  Miss Shirley has been staying somewhat close and being pretty social.  On one of the warmer days, she stayed by the barn for several hours, (when she would normally walk away pretty quickly), spending time with Tarra, Sissy and Winkie. Other days she will wander to find a nice sunny quiet spot and take a long nap, but she has been returning by the barn, even if it is just to stop in for a couple of hours and then be on her way. It is wonderful that the girls have still been able to wander and play even though it's already mid November.

Minnie has definitely cornered the market on habitat entertainment as of late. Toward the end of the fence crew’s work day, Min needed to be entertained for a little while as they wrapped up the activity with all of the big machinery. After making it clear she wasn’t interested in hay or treats, she devised her own way of staying occupied. She went into the creek bed, smashing a small cluster of tree chutes on her way down. She stomped, squished, pulled and tossed debris as she kept peeking to see if a nearby caregiver was watching, while waiting on the 4-wheeler. She began digging at the bank, pushing at the loose dirt with her face, and wiggling her bottom back and forth, scratching herself on the broken branches she created. She spun in a couple of circles, then let out a LOUD bellow of excitement. Lottie just glanced in her direction as she munched on a flake of hay. Minnie continued to play: stomp, toss, face-smash, spin, roll, scratch. The finale of her play session was a quick climb out of the creek bed and a short sprint across the grass, dust cloud trailing behind her. The waiting caregiver just smiled, as Ms. Minnie displayed her athleticism and grace!

Monday November 9th was the anniversary of the day dear Ned arrived at the Sanctuary.  On November 17th we celebrate Misty’s fifth Anniversary and remember Lota who raised so much awareness of the lives of elephants in captivity. On the 23rd, we remember Delhi’s arrival in 2003.

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