Camera Insights: Maia, Rana, and Mara


The cameras have been giving us a bit more insight into the elephants’ lives. They’ve also confirmed a few unsurprising things – like the impressive amount of time Maia spends as a pond blob.

The pond is shallow around the edges for ease of entering and exiting but is deep in the middle. Maia spends a lot of time lying along the side, where it’s shallow. When she’s along the edge, she doesn’t have to put any effort into swimming, staying afloat, or even poking her trunk out of the water to breathe. Maia props her trunk up in the mud and sleeps deeply. It’s a great spot for her when she’s extra-lazy. She gets the best of both worlds – she’s partly submerged but doesn’t need to expend effort to breathe (her laziness is continually impressive).

We recently saw her on camera in this position with Rana and Mara nearby. Rana looked sleepy but was lazily watching Maia. However, Mara was watching Maia more closely. It wasn’t with intensity, she was grazing leisurely, but also watching Maia with rapt attention. We would love to know what Mara was thinking, watching Maia-the-pond-blob, and her level of comfort and abandonment in those situations. About two hours later, the other two had wandered off, but Maia was still in the same position. She was up and elsewhere for dinner, but the following morning, when we checked the cameras, she was back to being a pond blob. By the time humans showed up at the barn for the day, Maia was at the barn, ready for food. Now that we know more about her very early morning behavior, we suspect she hears the team arriving on their motorbikes, and that’s when she starts heading down for breakfast.

We do also see Maia standing up at times. We recently checked on the cameras and saw Maia, Rana, and Mara grazing almost in a line. Everyone was a little spread out, but everyone was an equal distance apart. This was encouraging because Maia and Rana weren’t close with Maia keeping a distance. It shows us that Mara is becoming more comfortable, both with stepping away from Rana and with being casually closer to Maia. It’s nice to see the three of them moving around, grazing, and just relaxing.

Photo of Maia.

August 1, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Julia Mercedes Eden says

    That’s just too funny ? Maia ‘the pond blob’ – I’d sue them Maia ! They’re staying apart only because of social distancing. They knew to do that before we did. God bless you four darling precious ladies of Global Sanctuary Elephants Brazil. You don’t know just how you make our days shine SO, SO bright ❤️????

  2. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    Maia… I do like your style ?♥️

  3. REPLY
    Sheila says

    Very excellent that u have the cameras now and can investigate whats going on in certain areas of sanctuary??! Maia ?certainly loves her mud and pond! Lazily sleeping and enjoying the water! God bless her ! ?hope she continues doing her beauty treatments as she ages‼️??. Nice to hear rana, mara and maia are hanging out sometimes and all is very peaceful with ladies‼️

    • REPLY
      Barb says

      As usual, wonderful accounts of the girls at ESB! I can see the value of having cameras to observe their activities. Stay well! ?❤️????

  4. REPLY
    Paula says

    Esto de poder observar a las damas con cámaras es genial!
    Nos va a decir tanto sobre ellas!
    Maia es fabulosa, ella disfruta tanto sus siestas en el barro, es hermoso que tenga la posibilidad de hacerlo, gracias ESB por pensar en las cosas que les gustan a los elefantes ❤

  5. REPLY
    Jillyp says

    Maia is so funny, blobbing in the pond then zooming up for breakfast ? It’s wonderful how Mara is really settling down and feeling more secure and the three of them are just happy hanging around together. I wonder too what Mara is thinking watching Maia-the-pond-blob, it must look strange to someone who’s never seen a semi submerged ele before – perhaps she will turn into one also ????

  6. REPLY
    Wim says

    A wonderful threesome already at ease and living leisurely. Everybody has a Maia inside just takes some time to find the right mud pool
    We’ll done Maia. ??

  7. REPLY
    Paula says

    Que gracioso, Jillyp! ?
    Es cierto, Mara nunca ha visto un ele semi sumergido antes!

  8. REPLY
    Sallie says

    It is now obvious, that “showing off” must be earned. So, let the games begin!

  9. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Maia is one big adorable pond blob! Oooooh, I wish I could kiss her right on the end of her trunk. Has anyone, ever? Love to eles and hoomans. And any other species who happen to be around the sanctuary.

  10. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    All is well and peaceful in their world! I loved reading about their lazy time sleeping and munching with not a care. What a great life they have now with their human carers watching out for them. They must know that their humans understand them, that they can now begin to let the past slip away bit by bit as trust grows.
    Mara is indeed making good progress and Rana has certainly helped her to settle and grow in confidence. I hope a little of the love that so many of us feel for all the girls, the other animals and the wonderful carers at ESB helps, too.

  11. REPLY
    Sherry says

    The cameras are the best for allowing you to see what is going on in the life of the elephants! Many surprises to come.?

  12. REPLY
    Lila Nieto says

    Photo: Maia in one of the rare moments she is standing and not wet :))) Love her!!!!! Love them all!!!

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