January 4, 2010

After the Divas ate their morning diets,  they were making their way out into the habitat to find the warmer sunny spots. Lottie had already followed a caregiver and was contentedly eating hay at the Oaks. The caregiver went back to see what was keeping Debbie, Ronnie and Minnie, only to drive up on loud, playful squeaks from Ronnie. Ronnie was VERY vocal, ears and tail out, head and trunk high over the fence (as high as little Ronnie can get!). She exchanged touches with Minnie, who was back to her now-famous face-plant in the dirt, scooting her front across the ground with her back end up high, kicking out a leg once in a while. Debbie took a supporting role to Ronnie’s exuberant playfulness. She stayed facing back toward the barn, backing toward Ronnie and Minnie. When she reached them, she spun to the outside and began sprinting down the fence line, so of course this inspired Ronnie and Minnie to sprint as well. This little process repeated itself 3 or 4 times, and the ladies spun, turned and ran with perfect synchronization! The caregiver had put Deb and Ronnie’s hay down close by so they saw where it was, and just sat on the 4 wheeler laughing out loud at the sight of our two biggest girls sprinting along with our littlest girl right in the middle! Debbie had the cutest, silly look on her face as she left a cloud of dust in her wake. After a bit more vocalizing with squeaks and funny little “honks” and trumpets, the girls settled down for their morning hay in the sun. A short time later, Minnie decided it was time to go out and join Miss Lottie at the Oaks for her own hay.

We got to celebrate Christmas with the ladies in the new Asian habitat.  All of the staff at the New Asian Barn got to participate in the festivities.  Each elephant was cut a pine tree for their Christmas tree.  The trees were then decorated with any fruit or vegetable we could cut into rings.  Apples, potatoes, and oranges were cored and sliced.  Melons, cantaloupes, peppers, onions, and pineapples were also sliced.  Grapes were hung in bunches over branches and an ear of corn was tied to the top of the tree.  There were also a couple of blobs of peanut butter, topped with cheerios, here and there.  Under the tree, all the ladies enjoyed their “amazing graze” toys, filled with some more treats.  Every pair of girls also got a new toy hanging in their stall, although some of them seemed to want what their sister got instead.  It’s a nice way to make the day special, for employees and elephants alike.  And of course there was some singing too, and if you heard it, you would have to wonder why the ladies like it so much. 

For updates on Tange and Flora check the African ele-diary!

Happy New Year to All!

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