a burgundy zine

Elephants Connection to the Land by Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
By: Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Elephants in National Park of Sri Lanka

Source: Envato Elements

Experts at the Global Sanctuary for Elephants shed light on the beautiful, innate connection elephants have to mother nature.

People frequently ask how the elephants know to eat off the land and provide for themselves.

We at Global Sanctuary for Elephants have been asked this by zoo officials, zookeepers, and laypeople alike. They worry that after not seeing or experiencing grass, vines, or trees up close for decades, the elephants literally won’t know what to do with them.

No matter how many years we work with elephants, they continually remind us (often humorously) to never underestimate them. They repeatedly impress us with their clever ingenuity, resourcefulness, and connection.

When our rescue elephant Ramba first arrived at the enclosure in the Chilean Safari Park after years with the circus, living on a cement slab, she completely ignored the fresh fruit scattered around for her and starting picking grass to eat.

When new elephants first arrive at our sanctuary, even before they leave the crate, they frequently try to reach through the transport container’s side doors and start grabbing grass or vines as soon as they see it.

Irrelevant to what their life has been, and how much time has passed since they’ve last experienced nature, they never lose that connection with the natural world.

Global Sanctuary for Elephants

The shifts in behavior we witness during seasonal changes are another example of their connection to land and nature.

As we transition from the wet season to the dry season at our pilot project, Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, different vines and plants begin to grow. Trees are in different growth stages than they were a few weeks ago, and the elephants adjust where they spend their time.

It isn’t related to shade, as there is both shade and sun available almost everywhere they go. It isn’t related to water as it’s still raining, albeit less, the creeks are at their fullest, and there are water troughs throughout the habitat. The only thing that has shifted is the season, and where the elephants spend the bulk of their time.

We don’t see what they see and understand. We can’t tell you why Rana, another of our rescued elephants, prefers the pasture she is at right now – it looks the same to us.

What we can tell you is that after months of not caring about that pasture or that grass, it’s suddenly Rana’s favorite place to be and graze. We don’t know why, but there’s a change that she’s aware of that we’re not.

As humans, we don’t have the level of connection with the land that the elephants do.

It doesn’t matter that Rana was a circus elephant for 40 years, she just knows. She hasn’t had access to this property or its natural varieties of grass for decades. She simply has an innate connection with nature and with her surroundings – one that few people have and most will never truly understand.

They seem to know what to eat and when to eat it. It demonstrates that with all of the ‘elephant’ that has been stripped of them after decades of sterile captive lives, the core of who they are remains beautifully intact.

Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Head on over to the Global Sanctuary for Elephants’ website to learn more about the non-profit organization’s work and their elephants!
Be sure to follow the Global Sanctuary for Elephants to keep up with their elephants on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Interested in having content featured in an upcoming blog post or issue of The Burgundy Zine? Head on over to the submissions page!

For all other inquiries, please fulfill a contact form.

Guest Content

Guest Content is the user to denote any and all articles submitted to us by fellow writers. More content submitted to us by guest contributors can be found under our "Guest Content" section. If you are interested in submitting content to The Burgundy Zine, please refer to our submissions page.

View more posts from this author