Like all highly social elephants, our three Africans, Mara, Maggie and Lulu, are grieving over the loss of our beautiful Ruby.
Lulu, Ruby's best friend and constant companion, was the most distraught when Ruby passed, trumpeting, rumbling and calling her distress signal to the others who were just outside the barn. They all began the very low rumble which signifies the passing of an elephant friend, then clumped together for solace.
Although they have accepted her death, the group is still subdued, and sweet little Maggie often moves close to Lulu, touching Lulu's mouth and trunk and rumbling. They are moving up the hill and grazing, but even raucous Mara is quieter now. After losing 71, Mara deferred to Ruby in all decisions; Ruby was the ultimate authority. Mara clearly has never wanted to lead, she just wants to enjoy life without the pressure of leadership.
We will all wait for the next African elephant who needs companions and sanctuary. That is our mission and our hope for the future. Perhaps there will be another 71 or Ruby who will comfort us and lead us forward until the joyful day arrives when there will be no elephants living in captivity.
Our Sincere Appreciation To Everyone Who Sent Condolences For Our Loss
Ed and I, and the entire staff at PAWS, thank you for your many kind thoughts and sympathy. We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and respect for Ruby and all the elephants at ARK 2000.
Sadly, most animals arrive at the sanctuary with physical and psychological problems which shorten their lives and are often untreatable. We are always grateful when they can enjoy a few short years of peace and dignity, but we are never prepared to lose these precious individuals.
We all love our job, but the loss of one of our beloved friends is often so difficult, it is hard to continue. Your empathy and support has helped us all through this difficult time.