A New Space For Lady’s Footwork

Not long ago, we put up some additional training walls in Yard 5, which allows caregivers to safely do foot treatments with Lady in some of her favorite spots in the habitat. Though she still enjoys foot soaks, she seems to really like the option of getting care in Yard 5 – one of her favorite spots at sanctuary. Lady’s spirit seems to come alive when she is exploring, so it makes sense that working on her feet in the habitat would bring out a lightness in her that you might not otherwise see. This new development is allowing our veterinarian Mateus to appreciate Lady in a new way – seeing a different side of her than he normally would at the barn. Her calmness and easiness in the yard is also bringing out a new side in Mateus as a caregiver. 

Lady is a charming but exacting elephant when it comes to working with caregivers. She’s an excellent teacher who reminds everyone to be present when working with her. She doesn’t offer her trust easily, because her past experiences with people let her down. For a while, Lady primarily trusted Kat, but has come to relax around others. It’s a gradual process for someone treating an elephant – focusing on the individual in the moment – but Mateus has always been dedicated to learning.

Though Lady still isn’t particularly interested in spending time with the other elephants, she is at ease on her own. We are always honored when she chooses to open herself up to us.

Photo of Lady in the habitat


  1. REPLY
    Pam says

    It’s always wonderful to hear about Lady’s journey! I’m so glad to hear that she is connecting with Mateus in this way, and that the trust between them is strengthening. Thank you for sharing these insights today.

  2. REPLY
    Sue says

    I love the things you do to go the extra mile for all the Girls! My heart goes out to Lady who is such a fighter and doesn’t give up. I enjoy hearing about her exploring. And I am so thankful that she enjoys he foot treatments and it feels like she knows that it is a help for her. Thank you for the update!! Love and hugs! ❤️🐘❤️

  3. REPLY
    Melinda says

    Whatever makes Lady happy, makes me super happy! And thank goodness she has finally found some wonderful humans she can trust and love!

  4. REPLY
    Julie says

    What a beautiful photo of our Lady!

  5. REPLY
    diana says

    Is it possible to show a “before and now” photo of Lady’s feet? … so we can better understand the progress you are making with regard to the health of her feet? Many thanks.

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      we did after she initially arrived because of the obvious swelling that went down. but we don’t usually share photos of her feet because of how complex it is to understand what is going on with them. we don’t trim for aesthetics, we trim for function. so when she has something on the pad below a particular nail, that nail is generally longer than if we were to be manicuring for looks. it’s constantly shifting as she goes through cycles, so it wouldn’t really be beneficial in the overall picture of her foot health.

  6. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman-Eaton says

    Lady is a complex girl that does not trust easily, so when she does it truly is an honor. As with any relationship, Mateus and Lady have to learn from each other and grow. GSE’s insight, and careful observation of the elephants helps them understand each one, and enables each elephant to grow and make their own decisions. After all that is what sanctuary life is all about, and that is why #sanctuary heals.

  7. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    Wow! This post epitomizes the dedication of the GSE humans to give the very best possible care to these spectacular ladies! Building a special training wall in Lady’s favorite area because she loves it and feels so at ease there is blowing my mind! To treat them with such respect and devotion to meeting their every need, compared to the conditions they’ve come from , must be overwhelming them with gratitude! You guys are the best!!!!!

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      thank you ❤️

  8. REPLY
    jean says

    Lady is absolutely gliwing! Thank you for all that you do👏👏🙏🙏😍

  9. REPLY
    Lori DeHoog says

    I love that she goes to you when she wants her feet treated. She looks lovely today. It’s so funny because she has more hair on her head than the others she, most of the time, wears a hat on her head consisting of what ever she just threw up there. Such a Lady. Thank you all for you sharing what the girls are doing in their freedom.

  10. REPLY
    Carolina Galeto says

    Gracias nuevamente por compartir la vida de las chicas. La transparencia del santuario hace que los gobiernos vayan tomando conciencia que sanan realmente ❤️🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘❤️

  11. REPLY
    Nancy says

    You Absolutely Do Your BEST !!! Thank you

  12. REPLY
    Carey says

    I think I remember you saying that you were doing that, I’m very happy to hear such positive results. What a brilliant idea to do Lady’s treatments where she loves being.

  13. REPLY
    Wim says

    Hopefully her road goes on and on.
    She’s a brave wonder of life. 🙏

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.