We wouldn’t necessarily have predicted that the first elephant to visit Pocha and Guillermina would be Lady – but she still finds ways to surprise us after all this time.
Lady had been spending time relatively close to the barn and showing interest in the new elephants there. She clearly understands that the new arrivals are not the friends she knows, because their noises are new and different – and they are SO loud. But Lady’s ears have been out and she’s been listening closely.
She decided to stop by Yard 1 yesterday, so we closed off the gate from the barn into that yard, while leaving the corridor to Yard 2 open for Pocha and Guillermina. We thought, if given space, Lady might want to come closer, and she indeed did. After a nice drink and a little shower, Lady was showing signs of wanting to go near the barn. Because she has comfort issues, we would never push that boundary for her, but she seemed very interested and decided to indeed walk up to the barn. Kat gave Lady some food to reinforce how brave it was of Lady to get so close to others in an unfamiliar situation. Pocha and Guillermina have big energy that Lady isn’t accustomed to, and it was a significant step for Lady to get so close. At dinner, Lady was very smiley and appeared to be proud of herself, which was lovely.
Guillermina and Pocha’s reaction to Lady (or lack thereof) is representative of their disconnection to what is going on around them. They barely recognized that Lady was there; after decades of desensitization, the two are so used to looking down that looking up and anticipating something new to happen likely doesn’t cross their minds. Pocha and Guille are only beginning to connect to the real world because of how they’ve had to process life to survive in the past.
Later on, Guillermina did make the big step of backing all the way out of the corridor and into the yard, which is a major milestone. She still doesn’t seem to be taking in much beyond her immediate field of vision, but this may ultimately be a long journey for both elephants. We are here to support that healing journey, whatever path it follows and no matter how long it takes.
We’ve included the Facebook live video of Guillermina leaving the barn here, so that you can witness this big milestone as well.