Caregiver Laurie delivered a special treat to the Girls in Asia last week. She called them "banana blobs," and they were a frozen delicacy of several bananas smashed together and then frozen for an icy and refreshing treat. Shirley received her special delivery in Right Field, and she ate her banana blob all at once! Tarra was near Shirley in Right Field as well, and although she ate her frozen banana blob, she did so quietly, without much fuss or commotion. Sissy and Winkie received their banana blobs near Sleepy Spot, an area in Asia where Sissy frequently can be found napping in the afternoons, with her friend Winkie watching over her. Sis and Winks were uncertain about their frozen bananas, and weren't sure what to do with them at first. They both stepped on them before deciding they were all right to eat!
Tarra (far right) strolled back east this week to spend some time socializing with Sis and Winks.
Steve snapped this shot with his phone.
Over at Q
Liz has been spending more time down at the North side of the habitat with her sisters Billie and Frieda. The awesome threesome usually meander back around mid-day for a cool and refreshing bath from their Caregivers. The three eles all chase the stream from the hose with their mouths, taking turns trying to catch the most gulps of water for a nice cold drink. Deb and Ron are enjoying their daily baths as well. After their baths, Deb and Ron scratch and rub all over anything they can find, even each other! Minnie has been spending more of her time at the upper pond lately. The meadow, plenty of shade, and a nice swimming hole makes it a perfect spot to relax and play. Minnie has been extremely calm and cooperative working with her Caregivers in Protected Contact training sessions. She has made huge strides in the last couple of weeks!
Girl Talk: An Ele-Orchestration
Caregivers at Q captured this great audio and video on their cell phone of Liz, Frieda, and Billie. When the Girls get excited, their vocalizations erupt in a chorus of animated chatter. Listen for Frieda's unique whale song call, Billie's trumpets, and Liz's chirps. Liz is the first one approaching the camera in the video (look how much weight she has put on!), then Frieda, then Billie. "Girl Talk: An Ele-Orchestration" was just one of the wonderful presentations at The Elephant Sanctuary's Welcome Center in downtown Hohenwald this Spring. For a list of Welcome Center hours and scheduled presentations, click this link, and check back often.
Flora looks on while Tange proudly carries around a broken branch.
Caregiver Angela writes, "Tange and Flora have been pretty patient the last few days (Tange a little more so than miss Flo), having not had access to the Northeast side of the habitat while maintenance was working. They brought in the dozer to clear an easier path for the Girls between the Pipeline and the Plateau, and it's about half finished already. The process becomes much more involved than one might think, as there are many factors to contend with: terrain, steep and irregular in places; delays due to rain/mud; trees to move, fencing to keep clear in the process, and LOTS of dirt to move around to get it just right." When it's complete, the Girls and Caregivers alike will enjoy a nice, safe path along the inside of the fence line. If need be, 4 wheelers or service vehicles will be able to more easily access the area for repairs, etc. When construction and maintenance is underway, the Girls are shifted to another area of the habitat so that the humans can work safely.
She continues, "We also recently made a few minor upgrades to the training walls by the barn to increase safety while working so closely with our Ladies. The training walls can be ever-evolving, since you learn a lot as you go along, noticing different things that need to be changed or adjusted to make the training session more productive and as safe as possible for everyone. The new upgrades will be applied to the Plateau and Pipeline training walls as well."
So, you might notice on the Elecams that Flora and Tange will probably take advantage of being able to spend time over in the Pipeline pines, or enjoy grazing up at the Plateau for a while.