The elephant stables, which were renovated last year, have been very well received by all. The elephants have grown exponentially in size since their arrival a decade ago. This, along with the addition of a few babies, meant that these changes were extremely important for the comfort of the elephant herd. The new ‘lodgings’ have created and brought about a more relaxed and contented elephant herd.
The new stables consist of four independent areas under a structured roof for shelter, each connected to a communal outdoor paddock area. This gives the elephants freedom to move throughout the stables as they please. The entire length of the stables is sloped on one side in order to allow access to the covered area from any point in the paddock. The slope also creates a natural resting place for the elephants to lie against.
So far the elephants seem to prefer being outside and lying in sandy areas. However, the covered areas give protection to them during thunderstorms. The upgrades were brought about to facilitate more space for the elephants, and we assumed that there would be greater distance between the bulls, cows, and calves. But it seems that regardless of how much space they have, they all love being close together. This is one close knit family.
The elephants go into the stables in the early evenings after spending all day out on the reserve. The stables are freshly stocked with branches and pellets, and each paddock also has its own water trough too.
We are grateful for the contribution of all the staff at Camp Jabulani who worked tirelessly to complete the stables, and for the invaluable input of Brett Mitchel who added an objective eye in evaluating the operation.
There is no doubt that the elephants are loving their new and improved home.