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Bambi and Maia are Happy Sisters

The magic of sanctuary never loses its wonder. That’s the sentiment at the forefront of our minds today as we watch the friendship between Maia and Bambi continue to unfold. Both elephants have their own backstories, with twists, turns, and heartbreak, that has led them to this place. And watching their bond blossom reconnects us to what true sanctuary really means. 

Those of you who have been part of the sanctuary family for a long time will remember the remarkable relationship that Maia and Guida had. There’s no way to sum up the joy that they brought to sanctuary each morning, as they rumbled and trumpeted to greet the day. The hurt that Maia felt after Guida’s passing clearly changed her and may have caused her to doubt her place in the herd. Until the past year, after the loss of Guida, Maia kept herself on the outskirts of the group. She seemed unsettled and had a hard time finding her place. But shortly before the arrival of Pocha and Guillermina, Maia started to find a pathway back into the herd, and with the youthful addition, she built a playful relationship with Guille. Yet Maia had not fully opened up, even to Guille, who she spends a good amount of time with. Their relationship is much more of a lighthearted one – though they can sometimes play rough with each other. 

Meanwhile, Bambi has been struggling lately with being pushed away by Mara, for the second time, who she once thought hung the moon. This loss of friendship has seemed emotionally devastating to Bambi, who now finds herself in her own unsettled place within the herd. Like Maia, Bambi also enjoys playtime with Guillermina, but their relationship hasn’t seemed to become anything nearly as deep as what she felt that she had with Mara; their bond can be silly at times, but Guillermina is growing emotionally and seems to be connecting with Bambi on a deeper level these days. Still, Bambi has seemed unmoored by her confusion around Mara’s behavior. 

But what we witness today reflects the promise of sanctuary. Two elephants who were perhaps wary of one another at one point in time, have decided to open their hearts to each other in a beautiful way. It’s stunning to hear and see the trumpets and rumbles and talking that goes on between Maia and Bambi these days. We don’t know what instigated it, but both girls seem to be ecstatic with being near one another. This video is a reminder that, when allowed to reconcile their relationships without human interference, elephants can create new pathways to one another. Something opened up a corridor between Bambi and Maia. At a time where Bambi needed someone, Maia found herself in a place where she was able to give herself to someone again. Finding them together like this, both with light energy, is enough to make your eyes well up with tears. 

In this video, Scott arrived to do treatment on Bambi and Maia came over to check things out. You can see that she ever so gently touches the injured spot on Bambi’s face. She was respectful and not pushy. The two seemed to want to stay side by side. After Bambi received her medication, both girls leaned into one another, just softly rumbling. Friendships like this happen because physical and emotional space exists to allow for it. We don’t dwell in their darker moments with them; that would only add more weight to the sorrow. Letting them choose their own path to one another shows major emotional growth on an organic level. That’s the beauty of sanctuary: Maia and Bambi chose one another. And they appear to keep choosing each other. That’s something to celebrate.

Comments(12)

  1. REPLY
    Rachel says

    Beautifully written and inspiring. What a gift it is to my spirit to be part of the GSE family of supporters. Thank you for this deeply moving story. 🙏💕

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thanks for the kind words.

  2. REPLY
    Marcia says

    Beautifully written.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you

  3. REPLY
    Carol says

    I am obsessed with this peek at the blossoming depth of friendship and companionship between these fabulous ladies. It is heartwarming and hope it grows in leaps and bounds! Love them🫶🏻🙏🏻🫶🏻🙏🏻🫶🏻🙏🏻

  4. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    I can’t get enough of this one!!! Watching it over and over…

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We’re the same way!

  5. REPLY
    Sheila says

    THANK U SCOTT. MAIA SUFFERED 3YRS AT LEAST AFTER LOOSING HER BEST FRIEND. WHEN GUILLE LIST MUMMA POACHS. MAIA KNEW TO GIVE HER LOVE AND SUPPORT AND STILL DOES BUT MAIA HAS SHIFTED HER TOTAL.CONCENTRATION ON POOR SWEET BAMBI. IN HER SIGHT AND FALL DOWN STRUGGLE. ITS SO MARVELLOUS MAIA 💗HAS BECOME A CARE GIVER TO THE ELDERLY Bambi. 💓I love these ladies. I’m very Sad. MARA HAS BEEN NEGLIGENT IN HELPING BAMBI AS BAMBI WAS GLUED TO MARA FOR MANY MONTHS DURING MARAS BAD ILLNESS!!! IT SEEMS AS IN HUMANS. **FRIENDS WILL USE FRIENDS AND ABANDON THEM WHEN THE OTHER NEEDS HELP** I NEVER THOUGHT ID SEE THIS IN ELEPHANTS WHO R SO COMMUNITY FOCUSSED! I HOPE MARA RIGHTS THIS ISSUE TO BAMBI!!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Relationships change no matter what the species. Sometimes things work out the way they should.

  6. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    This is so beautiful to witness! Love the video of these amazing ladies and enjoy seeing the bond they have together. Hopefully Mara will forgive and forget whatever has happened between her and Bambi and everyone can be one big old happy herd. Love these ladies so much!

  7. REPLY
    Beji says

    Sara, I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but you really need to write a book. A children’s book so that kids that have never even seen an elephant will know that in the circle of life, there is joy and sadness. Working and playing together. Respect for one’s personal space. Being a loved member of the herd. So many lessons to be shared by all of us. Not just kids. You are so eloquent and you really bring your world to life. If anyone else agrees with me, let Sara know. It will be a best seller and I’ll buy the first copy!!!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      What a truly lovely thing to say. Thank you. But I’d want to read a book from Scott and Kat so much more!

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