Mundi is genuinely content and feels safe in her new situation, as demonstrated by her play behavior.
Mala, Samie, and I sat on the grass, beside the barn, just outside the night yard where Mundi has been living since her arrival on May 12th. For an entire hour we sat silently mesmerized by the play behavior displayed by Mundi toward Bo. Tarra chattered a bit and then moved off a few feet to observe and graze. Of course, at a certain point I could no longer remain silent, I had to express my excitement, fueled by Mundi’s display of complete joy and fearless abandon.
Mundi was acting like a young calf, head twirls, ears flops, wrists and face planted in the dirt, crashing through trees, and then back to Bo. Repeatedly Mundi folded to the ground inches away from where Bo stood close to the fence. He grazed nonchalantly and then engaged with face and trunk touches whenever Mundi rose up to greet him. What a display of trust, fun and a blossoming friendship. Remember, these elephants, who only require 4 hours of sleep a day, continue to interact and build their relationships while we sleep.
When I returned to my office after being energized by the joyous vibes emanating from the elephants, I glanced at the rapidly scrolling comments of EleCam viewers. I was surprised to read that people were concerned. Watching Mundi on the EleCam, running around, rolling on the ground, and playing with Bo was behavior they had never observed. They thought she was in trouble. As I read through the comments, it appeared someone suggested Mundi was reacting to being bitten by bugs. That was all it took. A suggestion of something negative, and the human mind was on a roll. The very worst was imagined.
I was happy to interject and point out that the glorious scene they were witnessing was Mundi playing. That tiny bit of education opened the eyes of hundreds of Mundi lovers. They began to see and understand what was really happening. They were thrilled to finally see their beloved Mundi engaged in play behavior, a first for them. Many felt it was a first for Mundi as well.
Mundi is providing a world of information to people who have loved and followed her for decades. Effectively, they were responsible for setting her free after 35 years alone. They are her family, and she is blessed to have them.
As we join them and become the newest members of Mundi’s family, we share the joy of watching her become the elephant she was always meant to be. Way to go Mundi!