Sending Love To Pelusa

Pelusa at La Plata ZooWe are going to do a simple weekly post about Pelusa. Some people may find this corny, but for a being whose value has always been what she provides for others, you would be amazed at how far a pure and genuine love of them goes.

It would be beneficial if when you see her weekly post, to think of her and send love, light, positivity, prayers or whatever it is you believe in or feel could help her. She was struggling when we began with her posts about a week and a half ago, but it was reported after they started, her mood improved along with her activity level. It may be a coincidence or not. Either way, it won’t hurt. 

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Maia and Guida Vocalizing In The Habitat

Volume up for Maia and Guida vocalizing in the habitat!!

The first video with our new little camera. Best feature, you can see their eyes so much more clearly, which is great to really read their emotions. The camera is zoomed all of the way in, so objects may appear closer than they are 

We missed the first half of them being silly, with their big trumpets and a bit of spinning, but we were trying to be present and playful with them. It’s great to be able to share these moments, but we also need to make sure that we’re not removing ourselves somewhat from them. The girls were great. The funny part about this clip is you’ll see a bit more than half way through that Maia comes to follow, but stops. She does realize if she comes closer we drive away, but it’s still hard for her to not come running over. In this moment she thinks and stops- and then of course Guida comes busting through, which is something she almost never does.

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Mendoza4 Rescue Series: Enclosure Issues

Tamy at the Mendoza ZooThis beautiful boy is Tamy, one of the Mendoza4. He is a tuskless male with small eyes and ears, quiet and a little withdrawn. You can learn more about him here but for now we’re going to continue talking about the rescue of all four Mendoza Zoo elephants.

Our last post we talked about the issues with training and quarantine. Today we’re going to talk about the issues of their enclosures. Both Tamy and the Asian female elephants do have indoor space that is hard to see in many of the photos. Unfortunately, the only way to get into Tamy’s indoor space is through his yard or a ladder built into a cement wall that is in a little space next to his walkway to get inside. As you might be able to guess, this makes it less than ideal to find somewhere to put a transport container in and get it out easily and safely.

Pocha and Guillermina’s inside space is accessible through a door from the outside, but it’s a small human door. What does this mean? It means needing to knock down a wall or reopen up a barred wall in the female area in order to find a way to give them access to the crate that doesn’t take up all of their outside space. Not ideal, but the options are incredibly limited. Kenya’s space will be much easier since it is not a recessed yard and allows much more flexibility.

Working around this obstacle leads into the next post which is a discussion about moving two at a time or all four at once. This seems to be the most delicate of the decisions, but one we’re hoping to give a little more clarity on hopefully tomorrow.

As a side note, the theory behind creating the enclosures at the zoo was way ahead of its time and the thought behind it was positive, the execution, well, that’s something else. This isn’t said in defense of the enclosure in any way shape or form, but from an education standpoint interesting to have learned. The man who created the zoo had the idea that he wanted people to see animals, but not have the animals stuck behind bars. Unheard of that someone would be thinking about the animals’ welfare at that time. This is when he came up with the idea for the design of the zoo that uses a lot of rock walls and recessed areas instead of the cages in use at other facilities.

Nice in theory, but one of the biggest drawbacks is cutting the animals off from life around them. Guillermina was born at the zoo 19 years ago and has never seen the horizon. We’ve never known an adult elephant that has never viewed the outside world. Their rescue is substantial in many many ways.

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Mendoza4 Rescue Series: 30-Day Quarantine

Kenya at the Mendoza ZooThis beauty with the hay baret and one ear out is Kenya, one of the Mendoza4. In December we visited the zoo to spend some more time with them (this was our second visit) and try to come up with the steps that would need to be taken to get all four elephants to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil.  There are numerous issues with their rescue, but two big items that have a major impact on planning: the 30-day quarantine and whether we move them all at once or two at a time. Today we’ll talk about their quarantine.

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Ramba: Work On Her Rescue



It has been a while since we’ve shared a Ramba post. She continues to do well as the fall arrives, with cooler mornings and evenings, and we work on her rescue. Her process is a little different than Pelusa’s because of what each government requires. For Pelusa we’re going through both the import and export CITES permits at the same time. With Ramba, the Chilean government wants her import permits approved before they begin work on her export permits. So it may end up that Pelusa gets here first.

We are also continuing to try and find a better price for her charter flight or a company that will donate it. FedEx declined due to not having the right sized plane and needing to charter one for Ramba’s rescue. There is another company who is interested in helping, but just gave an elevated quote from the one they provided several months ago- higher fuel prices, but they said will talk and get back to us. So we continue on.

For those that don’t know Ramba yet, she was the last circus elephant in Chile that Scott and myself moved from the circus to a roadside zoo. Ecopolis, a Chilean NGO arranged for her to travel to a sanctuary in the US, but they needed 6 months for testing and permits. Sadly, those plans fell through and she has been waiting alone for someone to take her for 6 years. Now that GSE exists and we have completed construction of a large area for female Asian elephants at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, we are able to offer her a home. If you would like to learn more about Ramba you can  CLICK HERE  if you would like to give towards her rescue, you can do so here DONATE HERE

Thank you

For those of you who have donated or looked at her rescue campaign, you will notice the goal has been reduced by $50,000. This is due to reductions in ground transportation and other companies willing to aid in her rescue. We’ll be thanking them more publicly later on. 

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Pelusa Part IV: Where Does That Leave Us Now?

Pelusa at the La Plata ZooPelusa Part IV: So where does that leave us now?

Pelusa has found her way into many hearts- she is more stunning (inside and out) than any photo could ever show. Those of us who care for her are all still fighting to bring her to sanctuary, but that future isn’t a certainty. Pelusa’s import and export CITES permits are both currently in progress and we are hoping to be able to rescue her within a couple of months- although bureaucracy determines the timing and Pelusa determines the possibility.

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