Friday, May 6, 2011

Other Elephants Found Socializing with our Herd in the Forest

Our elephant hike earlier this week was very exciting as we found that three extra elephants had joined our herd of 5 in the forest.There have been other elephants coming back to the village over the course of the last month to take a break from working at tourist camps. While these elephants are back in the village they get to relax and go on hikes in the forest and it is a nice vacation for them. This is also very exciting for our elephants because they are incredibly social animals and get to socialize with new elephants.
Monday morning had a morning hike and hiked into this lush green valley. When we found our elephants there were three extra adult female elephants with them. The elephants were very vocal and loud. At one point the valley was alive with elephant trumpeting and it was a special experience for volunteers.

Song Kran and Bpee Mai in particular enjoyed socializing with the new elephants and they had their trunks in the other elephants’ mouths, touching their palates and communication via smell, and touching each other’s trunks and connecting physically. Song Kran even attempted to suckle from two other elephants. Needless to say it made data collection very interesting and very busy. We hope to have more opportunities to observe how our herd socialize with other elephants!