Omar and Babe
Babe, the African elephant, and Omar, a dromedary camel, forge a bond over a common fence.
Destined for a life of parades, nativity scenes and pageants, Omar was born to a Texas exotic animal dealer. His life would have been an endless grind of being trucked around the country and rented out to various sideshows. Fortunately for him, he was rescued and brought to the ranch as a young camel. Staff fed him with a bottle for several months. When not interacting with his human friends, he became interested in his very unusual neighbor.
Babe and Tara, two elephants living together at the time, were Omar’s neighboring companions. While Tara took no interest in Omar, Babe was intrigued. They soon began touching each other through the fence; Babe would reach with her trunk to sniff and feel Omar. Both seemed to enjoy the contact, as they both offered never-heard-before vocalizations.
Omar still maintains his bond of friendship with Babe. The friendship is probably even more important to Babe since the passing of Tara. Babe will often entwine her trunk around Omar’s neck at the fence, and the two inter-species friends stand for hours and quietly eat hay together, content in their special companionship.
Friendly and Scar
One evening a staff member saw Friendly and Scar slip through a narrow space between the barn and fence. Babe, who was playing with a hanging barrel outside, seemed not to notice that the burros had slipped directly into her barn and were peacefully lying in her new sandbox!
The staff is often asked about Babe’s solitary life here at the ranch. While very aware of the social nature of elephants and their need to be with others of their own kind, we are comforted by the fact that Babe is, in fact, not alone. Because of Babe’s gentle nature, she has companions, albeit of other species, with whom she interacts daily. She also has her human companions, who form a substitute “herd.”
The ranch is thoroughly exploring all options open for Babe. Because of the severe injuries to her legs which she sustained while performing in a circus, it appears that Babe cannot be relocated to another elephant sanctuary at this time. It is possible, however, that she would welcome the addition of another rescued elephant.
But for now, a day in the life of Babe and her neighbors seems to be filled with camaraderie.