Staff and volunteers are working really hard on an enrichment program and in preparation for the new enclosure arriving soon we are getting the elephants used to being more social.
Todays session began by hiding some tasty treats into a large stone bucket and with the mahouts near by allowing the elephants to graze and roam as they please. The mahouts need to be close by initially until the elephants are more used to each others very close company and until the fence is installed. We also introduced Bandara to the group. Todays session included Raja, Rani and Bandara.
Raja headed straight for a tasty looking tree until he sniffed out the treats hidden by the volunteers! He then went to introduce himself to Bandara who is still shy and was less eager to explore. Rani wandered alone for a while but made repeated trips back assistant Mahout Sandaruan without any prompting from him. She then went to hang out with the boys until Pooja joined the party and then the girls who are great friends had a nice cuddle and Rani started following Pooja around.
This will become a daily session in the afternoons here at MEF and we are all very excited to see how the elephants develop and react to these important changes.