April 25, 2020
Elephants Connection to the Land by Global Sanctuary for Elephants
Elephants in National Park of Sri LankaSource: Envato Elements
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.
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Sometimes, life is hard. Other times, life is easy. Sometimes, even when life is easy, you’re faced with hard decisions – like, should I graze or should I enjoy a bath? Thankfully, here at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, that’s a choice the elephants don’t need to make. Enjoy this video of Lady grazing and enjoying a bath. Hope she brings a smile to your face. #saturday #saturdayvibes #choices #hardchoices #grazing #bath #elephant #elefante #elephantsanctuary #elephantsanctuarybrazil #sanctuarylife #bestlife #elephantsofinstagram
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.
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This is Rana’s “I’m sleepy, I’m happy, the sun feels good, and I might fall asleep” face, which is a common sentiment among the animals here lately. She’s very cute, but, also she’s pretty much always cute. ? #thecutest #elephant #elefeante #sanctuaryheals #fridayvibes #friyay #fridayfavs #elephantsanctuary #elephantsanctuarybrazil #elephantsofinstagram
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.
Head on over to the Global Sanctuary for Elephants’ website to learn more about the non-profit organization’s work and their elephants!
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