That morning the keepers at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle had found her collapsed in her outdoor exhibit. Efforts to try to get her back on her feet failed. Her condition worsened, and the humane decision was made to euthanize her. I was saddened when I heard the news that day, and I knew that many others would be as well, including Chai and Bamboo—her elephant companions. But Watoto's passing brought up more than just sadness in others—it re-ignited the touchy issue of whether elephants should be kept in captivity at the Woodland Park Zoo (or in captivity at all, anywhere). But Watoto had her own message to share.
I was feeling really tired and needed some grounding after several jam-packed hours of intense work, so I decided to visit my garden for a few minutes to reconnect with nature.
The first thing I saw when I opened the back door and stepped out was a beautiful Anise Swallowtail butterfly—and he was flying straight toward me! It felt like the best gift EVER to see him at a moment when my mind, body and spirit so needed refreshing.
I asked him to stay a bit so I could take some photos, and he obliged. So gorgeous…
Afterward I offered him some Reiki energy as a form of thanks—which he accepted—and then he flew up, and over the trees, and was gone.
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.
Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.