An Exciting Morning With Mara and Rana

This morning we let Rana into Yard 2 so that she could have access to half of the barn. Mara had access to Yard 1 and the other half of the barn.

When both of them were in the barn (still separated by a gate and fencing), there was a lot of incredible emotion. There were trumpets, rumbles, kicking dirt, squeaks, bellowing – so many vocalizations. It was astounding. The only time Scott has ever seen anything like this before was when Shirley and Jenny were reunited in Tennessee. There were unbelievably strong emotions between Mara and Rana all morning.  The interactions between them were very overwhelming for Mara, but Rana could not contain her emotions.  During the video, Scott played a brief audio clip he recorded on his phone this morning – yes, all those sounds are Mara and Rana! It is unbounded joy and unbelievable to witness. Elephants have a range of emotions that are much larger than the human spectrum.

We do not know if they know each other. There is a small population of elephants in South America and many of them have crossed paths. There was a zoo in Germany that would house wild-caught elephants before exporting them to South America. We know both Mara & Rana came through that facility. Mara came to South America when she was young with two other elephants – one was Merry, who lived in Argentina and was scheduled to come to the sanctuary, but passed away last year before that was possible. All that is known about the third elephant is that it went to Brazil. Mara and Rana are around the same age – but the exact age isn’t known for either elephant, as there are no definitive records.  Regardless if they knew each other or not, for them to experience this level of joy is an absolute gift. So many captive elephants never get a chance to experience anything like this.

We took videos this morning, and are working on editing them together to try to share what has been happening here this morning – it is unbelievable. We don’t know when we will get that posted, but please know we are doing our best!

Rana and Mara are still in separate yards – this is just so much for Mara to take in. Rana has initiated a lot of what has occurred. Mara is still a little insecure – Rana has been here for over a year. In that year, Rana has learned and grown so much in that time. She also loved and lost her friend, Ramba. Mara is only three days into this transformative journey and is still feeling pretty overwhelmed. However, she was clearly responding to Rana’s absolute joy with some of her own excitement.

To our knowledge, the two elephants have not touched, but we may open up and allow the two to share space later today. For now, they are in separate yards a little apart – Mara needed a bit of a break to process everything. This is very overwhelming for an elephant who has been in a tiny enclosure without trees or grass for decades.

(For those asking, Lady crossed the creek in Yard 4 for the first time and is near to Ramba’s grave today. She seems very content.) Maia is near, but not with them. The decision was made that Rana is more than enough for Mara to take in right now, so we are holding off on Maia joining Rana for the party.

We know the other elephants heard Rana and Mara this morning – it was so loud that Scott and Kat are expecting their neighbors to call to make sure everyone is ok!

May 16, 2020

If you are craving a little more elephant communications, click on the Vocalizing gray tag below.  



  1. REPLY
    Susan says

    No doubt in my mind that they know each other. To me, with little insight to elephant behavior it just makes sense. My heart is bursting with joy, especially for part girl, Rana. Bless you for opening this sanctuary. What a gift for these elephants. I love you so much.

  2. REPLY
    Carol says


    • REPLY
      Julia Mercedes Eden says

      It’s 03.46 am here in England and I knew there was no way I’d sleep until I’d seen what Kat had put together by way of a video montage of the most incredible events of utter elephant ? joy as expressed by Rana and Mara earlier…..I am still totally overwhelmed by the vibrations and noises being positive happy elephant sounds I’d never had the privilege to hear before…now I can sleep ?❤️?❤️? God bless you for sending this so speedily Kat ❤️

  3. REPLY
    Debra Moore says

    Looking forward to hearing that WAH not on FB anymore! hope to see it here, guys. Thanks! Wonderful update, Scott.

  4. REPLY
    Debra Moore says

    Ah, like the Shirley Tarra Barn party!

  5. REPLY
    Liora says

    I just got chills with this news, happy chills. Thank you again for all you do for these amazing beings. It is truly an act of pure love.

  6. REPLY
    Karen Bonadio says

    The video of Shirley and Jenny coming together at the Elephant Sanctuary after years of being separated changed my life forever! It became the catalyst for me to want to help captive elephants that had forced into the entertainment industry, get to a Sanctuary!

  7. REPLY
    Lori Hoover says

    OMG!! I just caught up on the NEWEST video on FB with Rana and Mara. I couldn’t be happier for them, Rana and Mara are both like: OPEN THE GATE!!! LOLOL I’ve never been so happy to have a video end, because I know it means things should only be better for them once you turned the camera off. I couldn’t be happier for Rana and waiting for Mara to want it just as bad was the best idea, hard to know, I am sure. But I couldn’t be happier for them. I can, and can’t, wait to find out how it all went.
    Love to you all, and to all the girls.
    ps……..I guess I will catch up on this post, hahaha, but I was so happy to see the newest one on FB.

  8. REPLY
    Lila says

    Oh, this is wonderful! I think they know each other, I can feel it. THIS IS LOVELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. REPLY
    Sheila says

    Wow!?!‼️ very very wonderful‼️! It is a strong probability they met in early baby lives or in circuses! Yes indeed! It appears rana is certainly overexcited and mara very excited too!‼️? my god if they get together and bond how happy and fanulous that would be! Im praying for rana and mara? excited excited?

  10. REPLY
    Julia Mercedes Eden says

    It’s beyond remarkable that Mara’s only been with you 4 days and she’s already quite the go-getter. Rana’s the cutest most loving, welcoming, friendly elephant what a pair ❤️? I did see the earlier rumbling, trumpeting, squeaking and rear foot fence rattle – I was TOTALLY OVERWHELMED – in a hugely positive way, never having witnessed such happy ? elephant ? emotions before – AMAZING ?

  11. REPLY
    Alana says

    It’s a good thing I’m social distancing because I will not go anywhere and miss videos This is so wonderful to witness. Thank You for sharing.

  12. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Yes, yes, yes, I believe they knew each other in their past life. They are excited to see one another again! It is so emotional to
    be together again! I am so happy for them and GSE too!!!!!

  13. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    This reminds me of Shirley & Jenny at TES. So exciting!

  14. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    It’s not often I am lost for words! LOL! I have told all my friends and family to PLEASE go on the ESB site and look at these videos! Oh my, amazing, joyful, uplifting, exciting….still lost for words!!!!!!!!!!

  15. REPLY
    Dorcey Berndt says

    What a beautiful moment to witness. You’re so privileged to be able to see these two wonderful souls in each other again. I completely believe they know each other. Thank you so much for sharing such a special moment with us.

Post a comment

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