This morning we were supposed to have a lion walk with Bakari and Boma, but poor Bakari has been very sick and you could tell he just wasn't feeling well enough to walk. So we all suggested that we forget the walk and just let him rest. They're waiting on tranquilizer medicine so they can get him to the hospital so his stomach can be x-rayed. His brother Boma stood next to him and kept licking him on the back of the neck to comfort him. I'm sure they're both missing Tsavo greatly, since he was moved out of their enclosure. Those three lions really bonded but Tsavo was so much older and needed to move on to the next stage in the program.
On the walk back to camp, Susie and I stopped and petted the elephants - I mostly hugged and petted Amai and kept getting her some of her favorite leaves from nearby trees. While I put them in her trunk, I talk to her very gently and tell her how beautiful and wonderful she is. I also have a certain way to massage her eyes that she just loves. She'll wrap her trunk around my leg while I'm doing it and just close her eyes and lean her head against me. While I was over pulling some leaves off the tree, she was keeping an eye on me. She decided she wanted to come over by me, so she pulled her stake up out of the ground (one leg is chained to it) and came walking over, like it was no big deal. Of course, the handlers quickly had to work to get the stake back in the ground and get her secured again, but I was secretly proud of her. I can't wait to go on my elephant ride and elephant herding to spend some more time with her. I just passed the Aussies on their way to elephant training; I told them to kiss Amai for me.
I'm really going to miss this girl! Here she is walking towards me with a tree branch in her mouth (she's getting ready to eat the leaves).
|The Beautiful Amai|