Alongside Ella’s normal daily routine, her training includes encountering new sights, smells and experiences so that she is prepared for every scenario. This week Ella has had her first encounter with a Sable calf named Sausage who is being hand-reared on the reserve.
Ella was very keen to make friends and play, but at first Sausage was not sure and stuck close to her carers for support. With some time and encouragement from handler Eric and some tennis ball playtime for Ella they became more confident and settled with each other. As Sausage is being hand reared, she misses the company of other animals and relishes the opportunity to meet a new playmate. A more permanent playmate for Sausage will soon be found.
Experiences like this act as important enrichment and training for Ella. She needs to be comfortable and obedient around all animals that she might encounter, great and small, enabling her to focus solely on the task at hand whilst working.
For more information about Medivet's Saving the Rhino campaign, click here.