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The last four days, we looked extensively at the budding relationships between Sibu and the members of our family group. What remains is having a look at Sibu and I. Because the enclosure where I happily spend my life, is subject to shrinkage, I had intended not to invest overly in a relationship with the new man. But the reality turned out to be different. When during the first few days of his stay in Artis, Sibu was standing by himself in his enclosure, clearly feeling very unhappy, I put in extra time to talk to him, trying to comfort and reassure him. Now we have regular eye contact, or he comes ambling over to where I stand at the fence for a chat. Apparently, he took to me and the feeling is mutual. As far as I’m concerned, he can stay in Artis!
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  1. carrps3:09
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Omoli

It never ceases to amaze me, @Darklldo2, how deeply elephants seem to enjoy each other's company, certainly when they have not seen each other for 25 years! Amazing!

Darklldo2

Yes, @Omoli that is real love indeed, and I am so glad he is that sort of fellow so that Shirley had the chance to meet up with an old friend again, what joy that was for her. For him is the knowledge that she was safe and happy and she'd never forget him.
I came across another video of two female elephants being reunited after 25 years apart and the joy they were feeling. I don't think you could get a piece of paper between them, they were so close and so much at peace with life and each other.
They were being entertained by someone playing a digereedoo which had them swaying along with the sound. Apparently the player knew the elephants and had set himself up nearby.
Really it's people like this that give us all hope I think :)

Omoli

He was the one who suggested to the zoo to send Shirley to a Sanctuary. He was so dedicated, even going to her in his free time to keep her company, for she was the only elephant in the zoo. But finally he decided that however much he cared for Shirley, he could never replace the company of another elephant. That is real love, @Darklldo2, to be able to let a loved one go!

Darklldo2

Hello @Omoli, :) I have just watched Shirley and Jenny's video, so wonderful that they were able to be together again. I felt so sorry for the young man who had a real affinity with Shirley, it must have hurt so much to have to give her up. Nevertheless, if he ever had a chance to meet her again, he can rest, assured she will remember him :)

Omoli

In those days, quite some movies were made at the sanctuary, @carrps. The story of Shirley and Jenny is extraordinarily and very moving, indeed.

carrps

@Omoli, I just watched that video, and you made me cry! So wonderful. It felt vaguely familiar but I think I saw a different video about the elephant sanctuary.

FraLa

Moving film indeed @Omoli.
You must have used up your free articles at Volkskrant. Or my (temp.) subscription at Algemeen Dagblad gave me access. But what you read on that news site is covering this Volkrant article good.

Omoli

Our Yindee often stands with her hind legs crossed as well when she is eating hay or stripping branches, @patsquire and @FraLa. It's a sign of being relaxed. Because Yindee has relaxed as her middle name, she can be seen quite often standing with crossed hind legs.
FraLa, I cannot read the Volkskrant article without making an account, but I read about this topic on a news site. In West African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, preserving elephants and other wildlife is considered the right thing to do. If it brings in money from tourism, that is a big bonus. But for instance, Kenya regularly burns piles of confiscated tusks, which are very valuable! In South-African countries, the mantra is more: "If it pays, it stays!" So, economic value of wildlife is leading. And as a result, countries like Botswana don't take kindly to "foreign interference", limiting the money they can make from wildlife.

Omoli

Did you ever see the 12-minute PBS documentary with the amazing and moving story of elephants Shirley and jenny, @carrps? Very moving. The link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0Z_vRYQ_Sg

FraLa

@patsquire and @Omoli I'm so looking forward to the response from omoli about an elephant with its hind legs crossed. I shall not be surprised if she can tell where and when this has happened before and which elephant it concerned. For omoli I have a link in Dutch which might be of interest to you. https://www.volkskrant.nl/buitenland/botswana-dreigt-duitsland-met-cadeau-van-20-000-olifanten-wegens-verbod-op-import-jachttrofeeen~bdfeb1ab/

patsquire

In the article I read and quoted below there are several elephant pictures. One is of two standing next to each other facing the camera.

The elephant on the left is *** standing with its hind legs crossed***! I never saw an elephant do that before.

patsquire

Here is a paragraph from an article I just read in today's news:

Botswana is home to roughly 130,000 elephants, and some 6,000 new calves are born every year. Elephants live across an estimated 40% of the country's land. Botswana has even given about 8,000 elephants to Angola and Mozambique - an effort to boost international tourism in those nations while also helping to control numbers in Botswana.

carrps

I love that you interact with some of the elephants. They are very social animals. There was a man on our local TV station back in the 80s and 90s who did short segments on odd and interesting stories in Los Angeles and California. The most popular segment he did was with a man who had worked with an elephant decades earlier. He was close to one elephant who eventually left for a sanctuary. The program re-introduced them something like 30 years later. The man stood at the fence, and the elephant was across the area near some trees. When he called her name, she looked over and RAN toward him. She remembered him and was happy to see him. As I said, it was a very popular segment.

Be nice to elephants. They remember.

Omoli

Thank you so much for your lovely input, @Darklldo2. It's always appreciated!

Darklldo2

@Omoli dear, you are overlooking the fact that Sibu has been told all about you by the others. He would have asked and Thong Tai would definitely have given him a good understanding of you. :) You have made a big difference to their lives and by the time he had heard all about you, he immediately knew you were going to be his friend as well. You had no choice about 'not investing overly in a relationship with him'. He was going to be the Big Man in your life too. 😃
He will, no doubt, talk to you about his relationship with the girls as things develop, I think you are going to be the new 'Matriarch in many ways that would not have occurred to any of us until he came along. :)
You know that as Vinh and later Sibu leave there your Elephant name will be passed around among many other elephants over time. :)

FraLa

I don't think accent, or even language has anything to do with this. Coming there every day your voice becomes a steady thing. Sibu recognizes your 'sound' and it is something steady, which he probably welcomes in his new environment @Omoli.

Omoli

On the first comment of the day, @Frankie-Johnnie asked if I was singing to Sibu. I was not, @FraLa, but her question made me wonder if in my conversation with the elephants, it helps that I come from Limburg, the most southern part of the Netherlands. Although I do live in Amsterdam since 1980, people still recognize my southern accent, which is noticeably less guttural than Amsterdam-Dutch and has a singsong sound to it. So, your remark about "guttural Dutch" fits right in with my thoughts about my soft g, which might be a bit softer on elephant ears.
There has been an interesting research in Kenya. From two neighbouring tribes, one was hunting elephants traditionally, while the other always lived in peace with them. On hearing recordings from the peaceful tribe, elephants were not anxious. But when they heard recordings from members of the hunters' tribe, they were immediately on high alert, fearful. So, they were able to pick up the differences between the languages of those tribes and react accordingly.

Omoli

Thank you, @JayneH. It is such a privilege to spend time with these wonderful, sentient animals, and it's humbling that somehow Sibu and I could take so quickly to eachother.

Omoli

That will be interesting indeed, @poolcue! Didn't think about that yet.

FraLa

I think there is that non-verbal communication again @Omoli. Some animals, especially the smarter ones, can sense (or smell?) that you mean well. Even if you reassure and comfort Sibu in guttural Dutch. It must be a heart warming experience to feel a bond developing. Congratulations, I think you deserve it.

JayneH

Oh dear.... welling up again!! Sooo heartwarming! Just oozing gentleness... Your description is so touching, Omoli.

When you blow on the trunks of the others it will be interesting to see if he wants that too.

Omoli

No, I am not singing to him, @Frankie_Johnnie. Just talk! And yes, he is all ears!

Frankie_Johnnie

He clearly feels love and respect for you @Omoli! I have a question though...are you singing to him? His ears are out, he is using his toes to listen, and he has a dreamy look in his eyes :)) Thank you for a beautiful story!

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