This is probably my favorite video yet because it shows the level of physical recovery possible at sanctuary and how extraordinary Guida is. As many of you know, Guida and Maia arrived here together after a lifetime performing in circus. They were confiscated and kept on chains for years while waiting for a facility that could take them. When Guida arrived at sanctuary just a little over a year ago, she was about 1,000 lbs. underweight with no muscle. And here she is today, with a little belly pooch, a spectacular glow about her and muscle tone that improves by the day.
The trail that Guida didn’t choose is actually the one we use to get the four wheeler across the creek- it’s clean and smooth, but rarely does she choose it. Her food, which is on the four wheeler, is closer to that trail, yet she picks the one she prefers, the hard one.
Obesity and joint health are substantial problems for captive elephants. Lack of space doesn’t allow for proper exercise, and even when an exercise program is developed for them, nothing can imitate what a natural dynamic habitat offers. It’s the different between a stair master and climbing a mountain.
We are ridiculously proud of Guida and how far she has come from the elephant she once was, who swayed away her day, withdrawn from the world. Honestly, this video could make me cry- I’ve literally watched it half a dozen times. Elephants have the ability to overcome a life that would leave most of us curled in a ball in the corner. Not only do they overcome their past but they grow and thrive and transcend any label or limits their past has bestowed upon them.
There aren’t words that convey how extraordinary they truly are.