There are many social groups within our herd of elephants who reside at Elephant Nature Park. For some, we never know what tomorrow will bring, while others have a rather predictable routine. Read on and you will have a glimpse into their complex relationships …
The new trio
Mae Lanna and Medo have been friends for more than four years. They are quite loyal to each other, though sometimes Mae Lanna can be a bit fickle, leaving Medo behind when she decides she enjoys the company of someone else. Mae Lanna does not make friends easily, so when she finds an elephant she likes, Mae Lanna can become quite fixated on them.
A few years back, Mae Lanna seemed to ‘fall in love’ with an older, worn out bull named Ahsii soon after his arrival. After the novelty wore off, Medo felt a bit neglected. Though she liked Ahsii, Medo yearned for ‘the old days’ when it was just she and Mae Lanna. After 1-1/2 years, Ahsii passed on and, of course, Medo was there to comfort Mae Lanna during her mourning period.
At present there is yet another addition, making their duo a trio once again, but this time another female — none other than Sao Yai.
Mae Lanna and Sao Yai became acquainted back in the Ahsii days. Sao Yai was also attracted to Ahsii and would visit him daily. Mae Lanna’s first instinct was to be posessive of Ahsii and try to keep the other interested females away, but some of the more confident ladies ignored Mae Lanna’s threatening postures and stuck around, Sao Yai being one of them. This period was a time of learning for Mae Lanna. She became comfortable with elephants whom she had never mingled with before. She began to realise that there were other options for socialization. It was then that the seeds for a future full blooming friendship were planted.
Sao Yai’s personality compliments Mae Lanna’s. They bring out the ‘drama queen’ in each other. Medo enjoys Sao Yai’s company, but often lingers in the background when her two friends get wound up. Medo remains the calming influence of the trio!
The ever-changing nanny line-up
Malai Tong and Mae Jarunee are officially out of the Navann family group for the moment and back to spending all of their time together. This is a very positive development for Mae Jarunee as she was never completely comfortable with the addition of Dao Tong and would often be alone on the sidelines. Thankfully, Malai Tong knows where she is needed the most and is back to being 100 percent loyal to Jarunee.
Navann is currently content under the watchful eyes of his mum as well as aunties Mae Kham Paan and Dao Tong, all who seem to have settled in to a comfortable routine. Dani sometimes steals a precious moment with Navann, savoring every second of the interaction. Mae Keow can occasionally be seen on the fringe of the group, hoping to catch the attention of little Navann and have a one on one moment herself.
Like Mae Jarunee, Mae Keow is also a bit intimidated by Dao Tong and her presence has seemed to diminish the hopes of Mae Keow becoming more involved in Navann’s life. As of late, Mae Keow is occasionally spending time with Malai Tong and Jarunee. We hope that this interaction continues and can develop into a comfortable friendship. For the moment Jarunee and Mae Keow are a bit wary of each other, but with patience and mahout cooperation this may pass. Since Lily’s passing, Mae Keow has made progress, but is yet to find stability in a relationship.
The family shy one
Yet another elephant who has yet to find a permanent place in the herd is Mae Kham Sai. Sadly, her time of being accepted by the family group was short lived. In the end it was suprisingly Mae Bua Tong who pushed her out. It seemed that Bua Tong felt Mae Kham Sai was getting a bit too overzealous in trying to care for Faa Mai. Mae Bua Tong became posessive and aggressive, chasing Mae Kham Sai away on numerous occasions. Mae Bua Tong is not usually hostile, so this behavior meant that she really did not approve of Kham Sai’s presence. We cannot force their relationships to work, so we had to accept Mae Bua Tong’s decision. This was a very disappointing development, as Kham Sai seemed so happy to be accepted and obviously enjoyed the ele-interaction.
Thankfully, Mae Kham Sai did develop some much needed confidence from the socialization and she continues to linger on the fringe of the family group occasionally enjoying moments with Faa Sai, Tong Jaan, Faa Mai and even Chang Yim. Kham Sai is alternately interested and intimidated by Chang Yim – wanting to engage in a pushing match but often times turning tail and running away when he gets too rough.
Kham Sai does enjoy the company of Malai Tong, so it may be possible to encourage her to spend more time in the same area as Jarunee and Malai Tong in the hopes that an alliance may develop.
The odd couple
The young, very friendly, outgoing, social butterfly Mintra and her old, cranky, hostile, posessive, jealous constant companion Mae Jampaa …
Mintra is incredibly loyal to the elder Mae Jampaa who truly puts a damper on Mintra’s social life. Mintra could be spending her whole day visiting the different ele-social groups. But, not with the cantankerous Jampaa by her side! She is prone to attacking anyone who gets too close or friendly with ‘her’ Mintra, regardless of their age or size.
There are moments when Mintra can not resist the urge to socialize, despite Mae Jampaa. When this happens, Jampaa has to be kept at bay, waiting not so patiently for Mintra to return to her side. If only she could learn to lighten up a little bit. One elephant whom Mae Jampaa does accept is Sao Yai. She was a constant companion of Mintra and Jampaa, until Medo and Mae Lanna stole her away. Of course Mintra gets along fine with Mae Lanna and Medo, but Mae Jampaa is the last elephant we want hanging around either of them!
There was an incident a few months back, within a few days of Sao Yai choosing Mae Lanna and Medo’s company over Jampaa and Mintra’s. Mintra was over mingling with the newly formed trio and all were enjoying themselves.
All except one.
Jampaa, observing from the sidelines became fed up. She was determined to drive Mae Lanna away from Sao Yai. When the mahout was not looking she rushed over and ‘attacked’ Mae Lanna from behind, attempting to shove her with all of her ‘slight’ might! Mae Lanna did not react. And she did not budge. She did not seem to be affected at all by Jampaa’s supposedly aggressive advances.
The only thing that caused Mae Lanna to finally run was all of the screaming from the mahouts trying to stop Mae Jampaa, who was acting as if she had momentarily lost her hearing. The most comical, ironic part is how Mintra always comforts and consoles her bellicose friend after losing her temper and potentially harming an innocent individual who was minding their own business. As if Jampaa was the victim! Such is the quirky nature of their relationship.