February 26, 2013

Exciting Times for the Q-Barn

Valentine's Day was a big day for the Girls. The Q-Barn Caregivers decided to present the gang with goody bags. Luckily, a camera was on the scene.

Each had her own large paper bag filled with treats.

Each had her own large paper bag with her initial brightly painted on it. The bags were stuffed full with red fruit such as apples, watermelons, and strawberry bamboo-skewered bouquets nestled in delicious hay. Each Girl enjoyed her surprise in her own unique way.

Ronnie picked through her bag.
Ronnie delicately picked through her bag, slowly and steadily. That is non-toxic fingerpaint - don't worry.


Debbie made short work of the goody bag.
Debbie opted for a more direct approach, making short work of the goody bag, losing only one strawberry in the process.  Eating the paper bag causes no harm to the elephant. In fact, it is a source of needed fiber.


Minnie stepped on her bag to hold it down while she ripped it open.
Minnie stepped on her bag to hold it down while she ripped it open.


Billie used the "foot-holding" technique to open her bag.
Billie used the "foot-holding" technique to open her bag.
The tape on the bags is also non-toxic and harmless for the elephants to eat.


Frieda picked up her bag gently with her trunk and rolled it up to her mouth.Frieda picked up her bag gently with her trunk and rolled it up to her mouth.
All the goodies sprinkled out onto the ground, but within easy reach.


Liz easily dumped her bag to get to the goodies.
Liz easily dumped her bag and lightly discarded it for the deposited pile of red goodies.

It was a good Valentine’s Day at The Sanctuary.
It has been an exciting two weeks for Debbie, Ronnie, Minnie, Liz, Billie, and Frieda.  In addition to the Valentine’s Day fun last week, the Girls also had a pleasant surprise awaiting them this week. The fencing project in the Q Habitat has been completed.  Fences have been upgraded to more durable material and new corridors have been constructed to allow the Girls more travel options in and around the barns. The Girls are very happy to see this project complete. Their morning and evening commute is now much easier. To finish this task, Sanctuary Staff did have to temporarily close off certain parts of the habitat to complete the construction. You’ve probably all seen street maintenance on your daily commutes and thought, “It will sure be nice when this is done, but it is a hassle right now.” The Girls can relate. Caregivers were on hand to witness some of the Girls’ first steps into their newly re-opened habitat this week, and it appears the wait was worth it. Q Barn Staff offers the following report:

Deb and Ron were adorable on their way out of the barn, taking baby steps as they sniffed and touched each new post and weld. Every few steps they would spin and squeak and trumpet. Minnie did not want to miss out on the fun so she rushed over to experience Deb and Ron’s “new” habitat with her sisters! As Deb and Ron slowly walked down the new corridor, Caregiver Justina encouraged them with treats and handfuls of hay, some of which of course was “borrowed” by Minnie. Each step incited the same playful enthusiasm as the last. Deb and Ron and Min were smelling each other’s mouths and touching each other’s eyes and ears, as if to say, “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?!” Deb and Ron showed their appreciation for all of the new dusting dirt by scooping up huge trunk-fulls and throwing the dirt all over themselves. If they couldn’t get enough by just digging with their trunk, they would use their front feet to help scoop up even bigger mounds of dirt to be tossed on their backs, sides, and stomachs. Once the girls reached the end of their new corridor, they sprinted out into the habitat, and spun in circles, as if they couldn’t have imagined that the alley way could get any better! Minnie was so excited she tried to climb the fence and duck under the 4-wheeler gate, but to no avail. However Deb and Ron didn’t leave her out of the fun for long, and after their initial celebration ran over to her to let her “borrow” all of the brand new dust they had on their backs courtesy of maintenance and the fence crew.

Minnie, Debbie, and RonnieMinnie, Debbie, and Ronnie

The Elephant Sanctuary will continue to post Ele-Notes next week updating everyone on the Girls’ reactions to their new and improved habitat.

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