We are ridiculously spoiled here at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil right now. The sanctuary is a true paradise, alive with many tones of green, vibrant blue skies and little fluffy clouds. Not only pretty to look at, but the land offers Maia and Guida everything they need. Grass, vines and trees, running streams to drink and bathe in, muddy banks for playing and varied terrain that continues to help build muscles they’ve never had.
Being present with the girls, enjoying the surroundings and the silliness and contentedness that they exhibit during the day makes it easy to get lost in the moment. But so soon after returning from Argentina, there is a touch of guilt after the moment is over. We just left numerous elephants who are in desperate need of what Maia and Guida have, and we know they must wait.
Luckily things are moving forward (albeit sometimes painfully slow) with the elephants in a way many will never know. We constantly need to remind ourselves that all of these elephants have a possibility of coming to sanctuary and living a complete and amazing life, which is more than most captive elephants will ever experience. They are lucky, but it’s hard to embrace that at times.
There is still a lot that needs to be done. We are in close contact with Pelusa’s keepers and veterinarians, ready to adjust her care according to her ever-changing needs, we are finalizing recommendations from some of the visits and gathering information for others to move the facilities further down the path of relocation to sanctuary.
It’s a lot, but it all comes back to the photo- how we would like to see captive elephants- enjoying the simple pleasures of being an elephant and cherishing autonomy and what it allows them to discover about themselves. This can come for all of the elephants we are working with and it’s something we’re all striving for together. So although it’s much easier to sit back and watch the remarkable transformations of Maia and Guida, this upcoming year we will be pushing ourselves to retain focus on bringing all of these elephants the life this photo embodies. A life filled with an emotion most of those elephants haven’t felt since infancy– hope.