September 19, 2011
It has certainly been quite the week in Asia—lots of activity preparing for the fall and transitioning workloads in preparation for Scott's departure. While the Caregivers in all three habitats continue to train and take on expanded roles and responsibilities, Asia barn had contractors in all week: some working on pigeon-proofing the barn and others working on the generator. Needless to say, with the increased level of activity, the dogs have certainly welcomed guests in their own expressive way—in other words, barking a lot.
To add another element to the already busy week, a Caregiver noticed Dulary's ear was warm to the touch and had a sore at the bottom. Dulary's ear has been a chronic problem since before she came to the Sanctuary (when she arrived she was already missing sections of her ear from previous catheters.) Last winter her ear flared up again with an infection. While her current problem may be the result of an old wound or a totally new issue, we are now cleaning it with apple cider vinegar once daily, and applying a cream Dr. Scott prescribed. It has shown some improvement over the last few days. Yesterday, as soon as we finished applying the Derma-Cleans to her ear, she walked over to Misty, and, while greeting her, rubbed most of the white cream all over Misty's cheek and forehead. We can just hope this was only a friendly hello.
In Africa a little taste of fall weather was enjoyed this past week as Angela, Maddie, and the Girls got reacquainted with their barn for the first time since the beginning of spring. One notable difference the next morning was that there were only two pigeons in the barn! Perhaps the masses abandoned ship after seeing the two huge noise makers intrude into their pigeon palace. All the better for the Caregivers—fewer pigeon droppings to clean up as we wait patiently for the contractors to finish up at Asia and pigeon-proof the Africa barn.
While the humans have been focused on the transition these past weeks, our Girls haven't had any changes in their daily routine. They seem to be enjoying their own transition—the one into fall weather. They are grazing in full sun, no longer retreating to the tree-line by mid morning to wait out the summer heat. While this should mean they will be on camera more, it also means they are more active, moving around way too much to stay within camera range for any length of time! This is wonderful for them, even if it is a bit disappointing for those watching the Ele-cams. Misty and Dulary are still swimming often, but no longer going for a dip multiple times a day. With fewer bugs, Dulary is much more willing to roam, going past lake-gate twice today already.
The elephants are still happy to see the vehicles when we go out to feed or drop hay, even though the humans driving them have started to change. Suz observed, "It is refreshing to know that no matter what happens in our lives at the barn, the girls' lives go seamlessly on, ruled by the weather much more than by their Caregivers."