Relationships always grow and evolve. In its simplest form, a relationship is just a connection between two entities and how they relate to each other – so it makes sense that as the way you relate to the world changes and evolves, your relationship with others will change and evolve too.
Maia and Rana have known each other for slightly over a year, a year that held a lot of changes for both. Before Rana came to the sanctuary, Maia and Guida believed the Sanctuary to be their private paradise; and then, over the year that followed, Rana & Maia both experienced devastating losses that caused them both to need to rediscover how they relate to the world.
In the beginning, Maia, Guida, and Rana got along well, but then Rana got very pushy and needy with her affection, which caused Maia and Guida to withdraw– but, even then, the three still would spend time together. Once Maia and Guida pulled back emotionally from Rana, it just became a different kind of closeness.
Once Guida passed, Maia went to a place of intense mourning and became withdrawn from her surroundings. Rana saw this, and wanted to be there for Maia, but also seemed to remember her lessons from before. Rana would spend her days in the vicinity of Maia, but not too physically close. Once Maia began reconnecting with the world, Rana was there for her. Maia began to walk over to Rana when she needed something – sometimes it would just be ten seconds of touching, sometimes it would be a side by side nap, sometimes it would be something else. Maia would be the one to walk away, and Rana would patiently wait until Maia was ready to interact again.
Rana was able to be there for Maia when Maia needed it, without asking for anything in return. As many of us know from our own lives, that’s what friends do when someone experiences a devastating loss. You’re just there for them when they need you. Like a true friend, Rana was always ready and willing to be present in that way.
Once Maia got through her hardest period, Maia and Rana connected more. They began to spend afternoons together. They would sometimes engage in social behaviors, such as taking standing naps together, or Maia would put her trunk in Rana’s mouth – this is a behavior that Rana would accept but rarely reciprocated. It’s a very trusting behavior. They still spent much of their time for those few months 30-50 yards apart – they would come together and touch and socialize for a bit and then go back to hanging out in the vicinity. Maia would generally be the one to walk away. Once Ramba arrived, the same behaviors continued but, of course, with Rana and Ramba being inseparable.
Since Ramba’s passing, Maia appears a little more interested in the other girls as opposed to just being in her bubble. She is more engaging with the others, but her and Rana’s behaviors are still very similar to what there were before, except with both Rana & Maia now willing to wander off. Since they both like to explore, and since they don’t want or need to be together all of the time, whenever they have different desires, they wander off and do their own thing.
They aren’t best friends, but their friendship is still beautiful. Neither seems to want a new best friend just yet, and they both appear to be really content with how things are between them. They help each other, they lean on each other, and they are there for the other when the other needs it. They’re learning how to rely on each other in a comfortable, easy way, and they’re learning a lot about themselves in the process.
(Photo is Maia in the foreground, and Rana’s backside in the background, to the right.)
January 15, 2020
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Sherry saysJanuary 15, 2020 at 5:01 pm
Yes, they want their own lives and also to be with their friends sometimes. I like the same.
Kelejan saysJanuary 15, 2020 at 5:26 pm
What a wonderful explanation, we learn so much from you at GSE. Thank you.
JoAnn Merriman Eaton saysJanuary 15, 2020 at 5:56 pm
I love the insight you have on each of these beautiful souls. You know the personality and true nature of each individual one, and just let them be themselves. When I read your updates, I cannot help but think of the cruelty and torment they lived through, most of which we cannot even imagine, then to see them learning a new life, new ways without pain, without chains, without bull hooks is magical. So….thank you.
CyrAnn saysJanuary 15, 2020 at 6:21 pm
It’s so true on friendships! They are ever evolving……………
Barb Wilson saysJanuary 15, 2020 at 6:35 pm
Another very insightful look at girls’ lives at ESB. Beautifully explored and explained! Grateful as always, l remain a forever supporter.
Alana saysJanuary 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm
In the wild do they change herds? or accept new members into their herd? This must be hard meeting without the support of what others they trust would be doing. Hope this question makes sense.
EleComposer saysJanuary 16, 2020 at 11:22 am
No, they don’t change herds in the wild. Generally speaking, herds are family groups with related females. In Africa, the family groups break apart and come back together at different points during the dry season. These are very large herds when joined together. There have been rare stories where a non-related African elephant was accepted into another herd, but these are few and far between. Most of the current research is on African elephants; very little on Asians. This is due in part to the different habitats – it is easier to research Africans than it is to even find Asians in their habitats. So the answer to your question is no, however, there are always exceptions.
alana saysJanuary 16, 2020 at 12:05 pm
OK Thanks, Interesting!
Sheila saysJanuary 15, 2020 at 8:15 pm
THANKS?! YES! I COULD SEE THINGS HAVE CHANGED AS IVE READ THAT WHEN ELEPHANTS PUT THEIR TRUNK IN ANOTHER ELEPHANTS MOUTH ITS A STRONG SIGN OF RESPECT AND CARING! ITS VERY CERTAIN MAIA ?WANTS CONNECTION AS MUCH AS RANA!?HOWEVER TIME WILL TELL IF THEY GROW EVEN CLOSER WHEN THE OTHER LADIES COME AS WELL AS WHEN ?LADY DECIDES SHE WANTS CLOSER FRIENDS. SURE HOPE THEY ALL BECOME ONE HERD❤️
Rosie P saysJanuary 16, 2020 at 3:07 am
Thank you so much. This is a great insight into Maia and Rana’s growing relationship. We can hope this will be stronger with time but they are free to do as they wish in their own space, a world away from the lives they once led, no one forcing them to do anything. Hope they and Lady enjoy another chill out day!!
Carey saysJanuary 16, 2020 at 8:15 am
so true, and beautifully expressed and so so interesting as always.
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