December 5, 2015

For many people, Thanksgiving is a time spent enjoying a special meal with friends and family. The Elephant Sanctuary residents had a similar experience.

In the Quarantine Habitat, Caregivers made some special Thanksgiving themed edible enrichments for Billie, Debbie, Minnie, and Ronnie.

Debbie and Minnie
Donated pumpkins (thanks Falcon Ridge Farm) were converted into turkeys and placed in the habitat for the elephants' discovery. According to Caregiver Keleigh, "Debbie doesn't waste time when it comes to food." (L-R) Debbie & Minnie.

L-R: Minnie, Debbie, Ronnie
Debbie quickly walked over to investigate, then stepped on the pumpkin/turkey to smash into pieces.
With Minnie approaching to also investigate, Debbie quickly munched the pumpkin,
picking up a couple of pieces with her trunk to take with her out of Minnie's curious reach.
(L-R) Minnie, Debbie, & Ronnie.

L-R: Minnie, Debbie, Ronnie
(L-R) Minnie, Debbie, & Ronnie

Ronnie finds an enrichment "card" waiting for her!
She carefully smelled and touched the paper all over before eating it.

Billie is pleased with her card.
Billie walked out into the habitat to find her special enrichment "card" waiting for her, and
quickly devoured hers! The cards were made from repurposed feed bags and decorated
with children's non-toxic finger-paint.

(L-R) Billie and Ronnie.
Billie (L) and Ronnie have been spending more time together.
Care Staff is watching closely to see how this relationship develops.
Ronnie was the first to reach out to Billie following Liz's passing in August,
and The Sanctuary team is hopefully that their relationship will continue to grow.

Our last volunteer day of the year was November 21, and the volunteers spent the day raking leaves. Here at The Sanctuary, instead of being discarded, the leaves often become valuable enrichment items, also. To be notified when registration opens for the 2016 Volunteer Days, sign up for our newsletter here.

Tarra enjoys dusting herself with the leaves.
Tarra spent some time on Thanksgiving "dusting" herself with the leaves raked by volunteers and placed in the habitat by her Caregivers. After the dusting was finighed, Tarra made a Thanksgiving snack out of them.

Watch a video of Shirley, Tarra, and Misty socializing and "Trunk-Hugging".

A squash becomes a penguin!
Keeping with the "gourds decorated as birds" theme, Asia Caregivers turned this squash into
a penguin and placed it in the North Yard area along with some other treats.

Winkie finds the "penguin."
It didn't take long for Winkie to find it.

In the Africa Habitat, Sanctuary's five resident African Elephants also received some special enrichment in the form of pumpkins and other gourds on Thanksgiving.

Rosie (L) and Sukari
Rosie (L) and Sukari share what is left of a pumpkin rind.

Hadari enjoys a pumpkin.
Hadari had a pumpkin all to herself.

Flora dined on the leaves.
Flora dined on the leaves raked by volunteers.

Tange took her pumpkin "to-go."
Tange took her pumpkin "to-go."

African elephants are typically a little bit taller, stronger, and heavier (though not always) than Asian elephants. For this reason, a different type of fencing is required for the Africa Habitat. With the arrival of three new African elephants this Fall, fencing renovations of the 300-acre Africa habitat is a top priority. The Sanctuary is participating in the CrowdRise Holiday Challenge Giving Tower campaign to raise funds to buy these "EleFences" that will aid in the care of Tange, Flora, Sukari, Hadari, and Rosie. You can see the new fencing design at work in the video below.

The CrowdRise Campaign will end on January 7th.

Thank you for your continued support of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee!

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