Being Maia is (Never) Boring

We haven’t shared much about Maia lately, and that’s because she’s been wonderfully, blissfully boring. She continues to spend her time in Yard 5, alternating between grazing in the back pastures and being a pond blob. Despite this, she still keeps us guessing. Unlike the others, she follows quickly enough that sometimes she’s just behind us, so we go in a bit of a circle with her.  This hilariously left Scott searching for her in the rain for an excessive amount of time before she finally found him across the creek in 5.

Recently, since she was close, we opened Yard 1 for her so we could do a thorough cleaning of Yard 5. The areas where she spends most of her time – near the pond and her favorite pasture – tend to collect enough dung and leftover hay that they need periodic cleaning.

While she was near the barn, we brought her into the chute for a quick health check-up and a little bit of foot maintenance. After we closed her in the chute, we grabbed treats and the footwork tools. Surprisingly, when we asked for her foot, she didn’t put her foot on the bars. We asked her again, and she still didn’t comply. It seemed out of character for her until we circled around to the front of her.  We quickly realized she was leaning her head against the bars and her eyes were closed.  She was falling asleep. Once we stopped laughing, we asked her to move up and she woke up and took a step up, as requested. Quickly, before she fell back asleep, we asked for her foot again. She put it up and did great for footwork, half napping the entire time. Once it was over, she played in the mud wallow a little bit.

As Maia left the mud wallow, Lady started heading toward the barn from a neighboring yard. Lady seemed a little surprised to see Maia, but continued walking after a brief pause with her ears out. Maia halfway walked over, and they both paused for a few seconds before continuing on their separate ways. Lady went to the back of Yard 2, and Maia walked into Yard 5, presumably for her much-needed pond nap – being Maia is exhausting.

Photo of Maia in the back of Yard 5 – and you can see why she loves it there. 


  1. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Yes, the photo truly says “sanctuary”. It is beautiful. She is at peace!

  2. REPLY
    SHEILA says


  3. REPLY
    Kenneth Newman says

    Can’t wait for Guillermina and Pocha to arrive at GSE. Are we looking at about 6-7 weeks? or less?

    Having these two arrive will bring a LOT of excitement and interest to both the humans around the world, and those humans who inhabit GSE with the elephants, as well as ALL the other creatures, great and small, who crave the great sanctuary they have……

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      We won’t know more definitively unless Karissa and Chrissy can assess how they are coming along with training for quarantine requirements.

  4. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Silly Maia! The Pleasure Princess! ?. Glad to get this update and hear she is…well, being Maia!

  5. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    I assume that all the elephant dung, when collected, goes on to a huge compost pile? Great for adding to a worm bin as I think that elephant dung is only half digested.

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      We do have a lovely compost pile. During the rainy season, it grows melons, tomatoes, and squash/pumpkins. It also stays relatively small due to the rain compacting things and accelerating the breaking down process. It doesn’t do as well in the dry season.

  6. REPLY
    Julie says

    Another lovely post & pic. And perfect timing because I’m wearing my Maia and Guida shirt today. Also am hoping to be able to wear my new lucky Pocha and Guillermina shirt on the day they come home!!! These shirts are awesome because they are a conversation starter and opportunity to spread awareness and convert more fans of ESB!!!

  7. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Oh she’s precious falling asleep in the chute!

  8. REPLY
    Wim says

    Being Maia just means giant sleep exercises. Wonderful if you can sleep anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
    Well done Maia wish you many happy beauty sleeps.

  9. REPLY
    marion weber says

    I love the w rite ups on each elephant. Your descriptions create wonderful visuals!

  10. REPLY
    Carey says

    She sounds wonderfully relaxed, and loving the grazing. Are you able to see her at night? I wonder if she has a “hectic” nightlife?!

    • REPLY
      sara says

      We can see her at night if we go looking for her, but if she is content in the habitat grazing we don’t disturb her. Sometimes she will get curious and come over when she sees us with the other girls, and we will give her some food so she doesn’t feel left out. Mostly she prefers to stay across the creek because she has everything she wants over there. If we are driving around at night and see her in Yard 5, we will stop and give her some food – but mostly we don’t see her.

  11. REPLY
    Sallie says

    Sweet Maia has amazing self confidence, to be so comfortable with herself going “solo” and not depending on others every moment. I truly admire her ability to move from one venue to another, be it occupied or not. We can learn a lot from her behavior!

  12. REPLY
    Margaret Chalmers says

    Hey GSE, would you mind posting the map of the property somewhere permanently on your webpage with a link in the drop-downs? I know that you include it occasionally in a post, but it would be great to have a place on the website for reference! Thanks for everything you do!

    • REPLY
      sara says

      Thank you. We have some maps of the property and may consider putting them up permanently, if we can find the right place to do that. It may take a little thought and a little work to determine the best place for it to live. We will let you all know any updates.

  13. REPLY
    Sunny says

    An elephant napping while humans work on her feet: that’s trust. ?

  14. REPLY
    Margaret says

    Hey Sara, I was just thinking of that simple drawing-map you often include in posts, that has the basic habitat outline, with the yards, the ponds, the itchy scratchy tree, the streams, and the water troughs. It just helps to orient us when the posts are about particular areas of the yards. I know how busy you are with everything so…just consider it to be an idea if y’all have time someday. Thank you so much for all your work with those amazing girls!

    • REPLY
      sara says

      I know just the one you’re talking about. If we find a good place for it to live, we’ll let you know.

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