Bambi and Guille at Breakfast

Guillermina is still working out some boundaries with the other elephants, sometimes trying to test her limits to see what she can get away with, as she works to redefine herself without Pocha. While this can be normal for a young captive elephant to do, we try to encourage her more passive side to emerge by setting up the feeding configuration so that she eats nearer to Maia and Bambi. Guille is still a little pushy with those two, but they are quick to establish boundaries, curtailing the more aggressive tendencies of her past, which we discussed at length when Guille and Pocha arrived. Mara and Rana remain submissive to Guillermina, which sometimes feeds Guille’s old habit to be more physically dominant.

Here, she and Bambi are nearing the end of their breakfast and, similar to what happens between Maia and Guille, they go back and forth with eating one another’s meals. It’s a very easygoing practice between the two of them. You can see that Guillermina subtly tries to back up to take up more space (and potentially get more hay), and Bambi very lightly – almost unnoticeably – pushes against her; this is as if to remind her that sharing food and space is a mutual agreement between two individuals. Bambi’s actions are very gentle, as Guille doesn’t need much of a hint about what she’s been learning from the others. 

These two continue to build a solid relationship, with a few small teaching moments from Bambi (and Maia) needed at times. But Guillermina is progressing in her bonds with all of the elephants, as she learns day-by-day what it means to be a herd member. 

P.S.: Like some of the other elephants at the sanctuary, Guillermina enjoys tossing a bit of hay onto her head. Now that the rainy season has started in earnest, the girls are getting more of their meals through grazing, so they will sometimes use their hay as protection from the sun and nagging bugs instead of eating it right away. 


  1. REPLY
    Kayle Luthey says

    Amazing post, Sara! Thank you!

  2. REPLY
    Pam says

    I’m glad that Guille is learning a bit about personal boundaries … kudos to Bambi and Maia, for taking on the teacher role!

  3. REPLY
    Julie says

    Yes. I saw that little nudge from Bambi. Guillermina is so big that it seems Bambi must trust Guillermina in order to feel comfortable enough to give her some pushback. It’s fun to speculate, but like you all say, it is a language we will never fully understand.

  4. REPLY
    John says

    It actually was quite a big nudge by Bambi, considering how much Guille weighs. One can forget how big these girls are in relation to us little humans.

  5. REPLY
    Wim says

    Tossing and turning, watching, and learning.
    Giant steps all the time.

  6. REPLY
    LindaT says

    I’d say that was quite aggressive behaviour from Guillermina as Bambi behind could no longer get to her food as it ws being trod on.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      It wasn’t aggressive on either elephant’s part. Guille is just testing her limits to see what she can get away with. Bambi doesn’t allow those kind of antics. It’s just another lesson Guille is in the process of learning.

  7. REPLY
    Carey says

    Bambi liked that Guille lobbed her hay over her way LOL !

  8. REPLY
    Patricia says

    I know that Guille can be a bit of a naughty girl, but I love her so much all the same. I love them all! And I miss Pocha. Hope all humans are doing great. xoxoxo

  9. REPLY
    María Elizabeth Alvarez says

    I love them

  10. REPLY
    Donna Ingalls says

    What did Pocha die from?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We are still waiting for final test results.

Post a comment

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