Typically, my day starts at 6.30 am when our elephants are out on their morning walk. Observing them during this walk gives me a good idea about their normal body functioning and behaviour. The rest of the morning involves overseeing, cleaning and disinfecting the elephant sheds. This is followed by a close inspection of all the elephants after they return home from their walk. Since the elephant and the bear rescue centres are very close to each other, I then head over to the bear centre. During this time, the mahouts bathe the elephants as I have instructed them to do. I return to the elephants after they have had a relaxing bath and at that time I inspect their wounds, feet and tusks. The foot care procedures such as nail, foot pad trimming, and foot baths are done after the other treatments. By this time the elephants are ready for their 4pm hosing down with water; this is their second bath of the day which they enjoy a lot. Typically, the routine work ends around 5.30 pm. At that time I rush back to the bears while the happy and content elephants are in their sheds being fed. Monitoring the quality and quantity of feed they get is also an ongoing process. I find it helpful to know if all the elephants are eating well and none of them are having difficulty with chewing.
6.) What is a typical day like for the elephants?
Elephants go for their 3 hour walk at around 6.30 am. During this time, they play with each other, roll in the soil, play in mud and munch on different leaves. When they return from their walk, they rest in their sheds for about an hour. Then the elephants have the dust scrubbed off by the mahouts during a bath. Elephants love this scrubbing part! During hot days, they linger in the water pond for couple of hours to stay cool. After this they like to have a snack consisting of a variety of fruits. After lunch they get their foot care. Then they keep munching on green fodder until about 4:00 when they get their cooked concentrates. Any oral medicines that they need to have are given through the cooked concentrates. This is followed by the second bath. After this, they are given the green fodder throughout the evening and night during which they are free to eat, sleep or walk around their enclosures, whatever they feel like doing.
7.) What do you like to do when you aren't working?
I love reading! I always have a good book with me to read during the evenings and when I am travelling. I like to watch movies as well. I keep quite a few on my computer to watch when I can.
8.) What else would you like people to know about you?
I have completed my Masters in Conservation Medicine from Murdoch University, Australia. My other passion besides helping elephants is working with reptiles.
19.) When people visit the elephants, what do they do, what do they like to see?
The visitors love to see the elephants bathing and playing in the pond water. Many times they join the mahouts in scrubbing the elephants. Some of them bring fruits and other treats for the elephants and feed them themselves. It amuses them to see the way elephants use their trunks to grab the fruits and the way it disappears in their mouth. :-) They also feel awed by their gentleness when they are so huge.