LOCATION: Kegalle, SRI LANKA
CAMP: Millennium Elephant Foundation
Rani was rescued as an orphan in 1981. She was given as a gift to a Devale (Hindu shrine) by the former president of Sri Lanka. She was used for religious festivals and ceremonies until she was handed over to the Millennium Elephant Foundation in 1983. She was raised by the daughter of Hindu warden, who still to this day will visit Rani every month.
Rani is strong, bouncy and full of energy. She gets along well with her mahout, Chandana, who has an equal joie de vivre. Rani is very playful and enjoys the company of both elephants and people (particularly women). Her best friend is Lakshmi's daughter, Pooja. Rani has very distinctive and beautiful markings across her forehead and around her eyes.
A new painter, Rani was a bit slower in developing a distinct style. It took a few attempts before discovering that Rani painted best with a modified brush that allows her to wrap her trunk around a piece of bamboo which kept the brush straight out in front of her. Once she got the idea of touching brush to canvas, she began to create intricate and varying marks. She creates beautiful compositions but would seemingly be happy to continue working on the same painting forever as she is reluctant to let go of the brush when it is out of paint.