spent another day inside. The good news is she occupied herself and
did not engage in head bobbing which is a sign that she was
Tonight after the 10:30pm feeding Tina took a nap while hanging her trunk
over the top rail of the stall. An EleCam viewer e-mailed to ask why
she did that. In all honesty, only Tina knows. Whatever the reason
she definitely relaxes in that position because she actually fell
asleep. Then she discovered that there were grapes in the suspended barrel
to her. What a joy to watch Tina engage in play behavior for over an
hour. She manipulated the rope and barrel, flipped it over the top rail
and bounced it around trying to get all of the grapes out. It worked;
she got every single one.
Tina finds a comfortable place to nap |
Tina discovers there's something in the
blue barrel - what could
Her favorite! Grapes!
Playtime for Tina
This creative activity entertains Tina for an hour
as she figures out how to get every last grape
Maybe if I do this....
Tina discovers the very last grape
October 30, 2003
good day for Tina and her family. Tina appears to be pain
free. She continues to respond favorably to her foot soaks, medication
and evening interaction with the other elephants.
Tonight was quite warm so there really was not reason for the elephants
to come into the barn except to visit with Tina. Jenny was first. She
went right into Tina's stall and was being gentle but forward. Tina kept
her back to Jenny but allowed her to lean her head and face on Tina's
back. This interaction went on for about an hour.
Then Tarra came in. She too walked directly over to Tina. Now Tina had two
curious elephants on either side. Tina is more familiar and comfortable with
Tarra so she allowed her closer contact. After 20 minutes of this double attention
Tina crossed over stalls 3 and 4 to get to Sissy. It was so cute—Sissy
appears to be excited that Tina solicited her attention. As Tina reached
out to her, Sissy immediately turned in a submissive posture with her back
to Tina. She placed her back foot up on the gate. Without a hesitation Tina reached
down and touched Sissy's foot. Within moments they were face to face touching
trunks. Their comfort with one another is obvious. Another good day and even
better midnight interaction for Tina.
Jenny greets Tina |
Tarra also wants to be with Tina
Jenny and Tarra seek out Tina's company |
Tina visits Sissy and touches Sissy's foot
Tina and Sissy —a very healthy interaction |
Tina played with the hanging barrel in her stall. This suspended toy
is a great distraction from the unavoidable boredom
In addition to pulling on the rope with her trunk she also put her
mouth over the barrel, biting, pulling and sliding the barrel from
side to side along the rope.
Play behavior is not only an indicator of advanced intelligence
in a species, it is also a sign that an individual is comfortable and
secure in their environment. An animal that is tense, in extreme
pain or in anyway guarded will not engage in play behavior.
As we head into the winter months Sanctuary caregivers are challenged
to keep the barn interesting for the hours the elephants choose to spend
in doors. If you would like to send a "toy" for the girls
please consider a boomer ball of any size,
empty plastic barrels with a tight fitting lids (only containers that
have held non toxic products, please), 4 or 5 inch, thick wall PVC plastic
pipe with caps on both ends or thick rope to suspend toys,
and used brushes from automated
Thanks to all of you for your continued interest and loyal support.
was in great spirits all day. Her foot soaks are really bringing her
great relief. We use two different formulas for her foot soaks.
In the morning we use apple cider vinegar. This is a wonderful
remedy that we have used on each new elephant with foot problems. The
vinegar kills bacteria while the pectin acts to sooth sore, sensitive
skin. In the afternoon her foot soak is a combination of calendula
tea which is steeped peddles of marigolds, hypericum & arnica montana
homeopathic remedies and sea salt, all mixed together in a soothing
foot bath. Not only does this treatment relax her feet to allow for
better circulation which stimulates healing, it also works to prevent
Following each foot soak a thick layer of medication is applied to the
problem areas of her nails and foot, bringing added relief.
Tina is a good-natured patient. She offers her feet willingly when
asked and keeps them in the buckets for 20 minutes, enough time
for the medications to take effect. Most impressive is how patiently
she waits for her treats to be placed directly into her trunk.
Footsoaks also mean yummy treats which are given to Tina in small
bite-size pieces during the time her feet are being treated.
||Twice a day Tina's footsoaks sooth and heal her injured feet.
had a good day. She welcomed her foot soaks and even offered
the bottom of her feet for medication. We are all very thankful that
Tina is responding so well to her medication. Although a portion
of her pad has separated there is approximately 50% of the pad
that is still attached. The foot soaks and mediaction will help harden
flesh of her foot creating a new callosed pad. We will try to keep
the old pad intact until the new pad has formed.
Many of you are concerned about Tina's prognosis. Thank you for
your concern. The good news is that Tina will recover completely,
and a new pad will form. Now that her feet have been trimmed
properly this painful condition will not reoccur.
The other elephants have shown an added interest in Tina since she
has been in the barn for this length of time. This evening Tarra
spent a few hours with Tina. Around 11pm Jenny came to the barn.
She and Tina interacted for over an hour, touching and interacting
with each other. Then Jenny let out one of her baby cries, signalling
come join her in the barn. Shirley looks on Jenny as a baby, which
Jenny adores. All it takes is for Jenny to cry and Shirley comes running.
As soon as Shirley came into the barn Jenny laid down for a nap. Tina's
demeanor changed completly. She was very interested in Jenny sleeping.
She reached through the stall bars and gently touched Jenny as
she slept. She shared trunk touches and hay with Shirley who stood
over Jenny, her sleeping "baby". As Jenny continued
to sleep, Tina and Shirley shared hay and interacted until the lights
out at 3am CT.
went outside today. She spent only a few minutes savoring the outdoors then
she turned around and headed back inside the barn.
has been spending the majority of her time inside the barn this past
week. The reason is
that her recovery has experienced a setback.
had hoped that her foot problems would be minor and her recovery rapid,
but the truth is that her feet have suffered so much trauma over the
years that our optomism has been met with disappointment. We
have trimmed all of the necrotic tissue away from the remaining affected
leaving a small portion of nail which is still healthy. The process
of the nail dying off creates a vunerable condition. We had hoped
her feet would be healthy enough to avoid a separation of the pad from
her foot, but that is not the case.
Tina continues to be under the professional care of several veterinarians.
She is on pain relievers and medicated to address this latest
development. Sadly, it is part of her recovery and cannot be avoided.
pad pulls away and separates from the foot, it exposes the tender tissue
underneath. Every step can be painful, which is the reason she has
not spent much time outside for the past few days. She appreciates
foot soaks which have been increased to twice a day. We are optomistic
this setback will pass and before long Tina will indeed be able to
enjoy the good life. Until then, she is under constant keeper and veterinarian
We are doing everything possible to make her comfortable, including providing fresh cut bamboo, one of her favorite treats.
Tina enjoys a special treat of fresh-cut bamboo
medicine, carefully mixed with Dole Fruit Bowl helps her heal
and also enables her to be more comfortable during the healing
process. It is carefully spooned into her trunk to avoid any contamination.
Tina loves it!
in foot soaks for 20 minutes at a time, twice a day, is made
a lot more enjoyable because of the fresh produce treats given
to Tina while she patiently allows her feet to be treated.
In total, Tina's treatments cost approximately $25 per day.
October 22, 2003
spent the day inside the barn today. She was calm and content and simply
outside. When she walked across the scale we were happy to see that
she has dropped a little weight. When she arrived two months ago she
9500 pounds. She now weighs 9150 pounds.
weather has remained warm, in the high 70s. Tina took advantage of
the good weather and followed Sissy right out of the barn this morning.
This was another first for Tina.
and Sissy spent time together this evening when Sissy came to the
barn. Instead of Sissy following Winkie down the alley behind
the barn, she
entered the barn from the far side. On her way through the barn to
her favorite stall and Winkie, Sissy stopped to spend some
time with Tina.
Back to top
had a surprise visitor today. At around 3pm Winkie wandered in from
the pasture to visit Tina. Sissy was close by but did not approach
Tina. It appeared that Tina welcomed the company. Winkie was curious
and gentle, at first. After a few minutes of touching and leaning
on Tina, Winkie began to push on her from behind. Tina remained
submissive and did not push back but also did not run away. Winkie
was testing Tina to see if she could be provoked. Tina remained neutral
which was exactly what Winkie was testing for. The two parted company
after having a very healthy interaction.
visits Tina ... |
... and the meeting is a good one
Tina does not seem to be disturbed |
when Winkie gets a little pushy
very healthy interaction
Back to top
meeting of the girls. Today Jenny left Shirley a few hundred yards away
and wandered over to visit Tina. At first Tina was concerned so she started
to walk deeper into the woods. Jenny, crippled leg and all, briskly walked
a wide circle around Tina to sort of "cut her off at the pass."Tina
stopped and so did Jenny. Once Tina was calm, Jenny approached and spent
close to 30 minutes soliciting Tina's interaction. Tina was attentive
and even reached out to Jenny a couple of times but never enough to actually
touch her. Their relationship is right on track, progressing beautifully.
After a few minutes there were side by side dusting themselves with rich
Tennessee soil. Finally Jenny returned to her ever-patient Shirley who
never took her eyes off her precious Jenny.
Jenny visits Tina |
A friendship develops
Shirley waits for Jenny
of Tina's loyal followers have e-mailed craving more diary entries.
one such e-mail the sender recognized the great expense of time, energy
and resources it takes to care for Tina and her family. We hope more
Tina's fans will appreciate this reality and consider contributing to
her on-going care. The following e-mail was received from a generous
by the name of Mavis who did indeed keep her promise to make a donation
to the Sanctuary and Tina's care.
know how busy you all are, but to those of us who visit your website
each day, hungry for news of Tina's progress, a week's gap in postings
on her diary is very painful!
have gotten so much joy from reading about the work you do and have
felt some guilt for not making a monetary contribution to your efforts...now
that I've registered a complaint, my conscience demands that I do so.
thanks for the love and devotion you give to "the girls" that
you share with me and others. It truly enriches my life.
many people e-mailed asking about Tina. Some were concerned that since
there had not been news in a few days, there must be aproblem. Believe
me, there is no problem; quite the contrary. Tina had several days filled
with profound experiences. Now she is taking the time to process. In order
for Tina to adjust to her new life she must be able to process what happens
each day. She is really doing that in a big way we know because
she continue to make such obvious improvement.
you read the last few entries in her diary you can appreciate the magnitude
of what has happened in her life over the past six weeks, most profoundly
in the past two weeks. Not only is she going outside every day of her
own accord and returning when she pleases, she has mastered the new winter
door flaps, become comfortable sharing her space with a multitude of cats
and dogs, and finally been close-up and personal with five elephants.
Everyone adores her. Jenny and Shirley visit with Tina each morning and
then again in the evening before Tina heads back to the barn. Winkie spent
some time with her the other day and were both calm and considerate.
is rewarding to know that so many people continue to follow Tina's progress.
She is sincerely loved from Vancouver to Tennessee!
afternoon Winkie came back to the barn earlier than normal. Due to Winkie's
past difficulty relating to new elephants, we have made every effort not
to create a situation where Winkie and Tina found themselves in close
quarters. Apparently Winkie felt it was time that she met Tina. Winkie
approached Tina in the outside area where Tina has become so comfortable.
Initially Tina turned her back to Winkie. She was apprehensive, but Winkie
was very considerate and gentle. She reached up and touched Tina's back.
Tina remained still as Winkie turned and gently rubbed on her side. Winkie
was amazing and Tina sensed that she was in no danger. After a few minutes,
Winkie turned and slowly walked away from Tina and returned to her friend
Sissy who was watching from a few yards away. The meeting happened so
quickly there wasn't even time to get a camera. Next time!
endearing meeting. Tonight Jenny came back to the barn just to see Tina.
She entered the barn and went directly to Tina's stall. Jenny was determined
to get close to Tina, who was receptive but a little tentative. Neither
acted submissive nor pushy. Tina reached out to smell Jenny several times.
A few minutes later Jenny left the barn to join Bunny and Shirley. A very
Jenny and Tina
a magical day. It started after all of the girls, except Bunny, stayed
overnight inside the barn. The winter door which has rubber
flaps to keep the heat in, is always open 24/7 allowing the elephants free-choice
access. Tina's two stalls are in the middle of the barn. This night Sissy
and Winkie were on one side and Jenny, Shirley and Tarra were on the other.
All through the night the elephants interacted. Tina was comfortable and
calm. In the morning all the girls got their bath and then went outside.
As soon as Tina wandered over to her favorite place under the huge oak
tree, Jenny and Shirley began to move in her direction. For the next 45
minutes the three got better acquanted without a barrier to separate them.
It was touching. Jenny and Shirley flanked Tina, which at first made her
tense up. Once she realized their intent friendship, Tina
relaxed. They shared trunk touches exploring each other throughly. Finally
Tina wandered further into the woods and Jenny and Shirley went back
into the pasture for a nap.
avid EleCam viewers e-mailed to say they had seen this incredible
sight. One person gave permission to post her e-mail.
What a way to start the day....I am sooooo excited. I just could't believe
my eyes. Tina in a herd.!!! Phenominal.!!!! What a breakthrough!!!!!>
way the girls approached her, one on either side was incredible. It
was like they were saying, OK Woman, you have been here long enough
now, you need to know your family and you are simply just not going
anywhere, we've got you surrounded. LOL. Tina certainly didn't seem
too concerned. And also, the way Tarra kind of stayed off to one side,
close enough that Tina could still feel her companionship and comfort
but far enough away that Tina had to deal with the girls by herself.
I swear that these are the most intelligent animals I have ever seen.
They seem to have almost human- like thought processes.
might sound kind of strange and I really don't know how to explain it,
but as I am watching them right now I can "feel" them, not
like I am physically touching them, but in a spritual way. They seem
to draw me in. Do you know what I mean or am I rambling again.
You have a wonderful day!!!!!!!
the evening when Sissy and Winkie returned to the barn, Tina was
already inside calmly eating her dinner. She had eaten most everything
when Sissy slowly approached. They stood side by side sharing the last
of Tina's cabbage, they could not have been calmer. Then Tina reached
up to investigate Sissy's head and ears. Finally she gently laid her trunk
over Sissy's head. This was a gentle display at dominance on Tina's
part. Sissy was not concerned, she is quite comfortable being the submissive
one; all she cares is that they are friends. Once Tina saw that Sissy
was comfortable with being dominated she began to pull on her ear and
stick her trunk in her ear. This went on for less than a minute. Sissy
is amazing at shaping the behavior of the other elephants in a passive
manner. She is fine with being submissive but she is not ok with being
picked on. Her solution is to walk away leaving the other elephant realizing
that she will not use aggression as a form of communication. Although
she will agree to be submissive she will not stay around and
be mistreated. It is always awesome to watch Sissy at work.
Jenny, and Shirley without barriers!
and Shirley patiently befriend Tina...
get even closer!
reaches out for Tina
a happy girl
and Sissy share a cabbage
has a new friend
Sissy walked away, Tina headed toward the rubber flap door leading outside.
She played with the flaps and then went right outside, another first
outside at night. For the next 20 minutes she played with the flaps and
then went back inside the barn.
What a day!
Back to top
This evening Tina walked through a new obstacle; rubber door flaps. She acted like she had done it a million times but the truth is this was her first. No problem.
first for Tina - navigating the rubber flap door
on through without a hitch
on into the warm barn
nothing to it!
a smart, brave Tina!
was amazing today. She was calm, chirped (a happy sound) every time
Tarra approached and seemed much more aware and interested in what was
happening around her then she has previously. She had a couple of bouts
of head bobbing in the afternoon but spent nearly the entire day neuroses-free.
a wonderful day. Tina did not bob such a wonderful thing to watch,
bob-less Tina. She had a wonderful night last night with her family; they
were all in the barn, except Bunny. She interacted with Jenny until 4pm.
Long night for the staff but well worth the benefit for the girls. Today
was bug-free, cool and Tina seemed to be so calm and content. Tarra spent
a majority of the day with her and again tried to get her to play.
This time Tina was less resistant. It might just be a matter of time until
Tarra convinces her to engage in play behavior. This evening we spent
a couple hours trimming Tina's feet. We spent most of that time on her
back feet and found her hips to be rather stiff. This is not surprising
for an animal that did not get enough exercise for many years. Shirley
and Jenny came back to the barn again tonight. The were interested in
interacting with Tina and although she did get too close she walked through
two stalls to get to them. Tina was much calmer today and showed
very little aggression. She postured with her head a couple of times but
got no response so she stopped. Jenny spent the most time interacting
but Shirley was able to actually touch Tina through the bars. They
all remained calm and interested. Another wonderful day for Tina and her
reaches out to Tina
seems more comfortable with Jen