We know many of you will be wondering how Guille and the rest are the girls are doing this morning, so we wanted to share an update.
Everyone is doing well, but tired. When we left Guille for the evening last night, she was closing her eyes while holding our hand but seemed to be fighting sleep a bit. This morning she came out of the bushes for breakfast in the same area as the other girls, although not right next to them. They have all spent the morning together, including Maia, with different elephants side by side throughout. Though tired, everyone seems relaxed. The vibe is just a touch more somber today than yesterday- not heavy or sad, but possibly more reflective.
As the days go on, we know more questions will come up, and we are trying to address the ones we see and can answer. We are reading all of the comments, posts to her memorial page, and emails. The outpouring of support and beautiful thoughts on Pocha is lovely to see and cathartic for all of us- thank you. To answer a few of the big questions-
Pocha is buried in yard 3, close to where she passed away. We thought it was fitting since it was the yard they first decided to explore once they felt safe taking more than a few steps away from the barn. At that point, they were only exploring at night, and we weren’t sure how far they were going. We discovered in the morning that they were going all the way up into Yard 3, and only knew this because of the trail of devastation they left behind as they walked over and through the saplings along the path. She was laid to rest at the top of that trail.
Guille and all of the other girls will get access to that yard again around dinnertime now that Pocha has been covered up. In the past, elephants have always returned to that spot almost immediately upon being given access. Some elephants return to it repeatedly, while others stay for hours and then only stop from time to time. It is very individual and their choice.
After Pocha had passed, discussed how to give Lady the ability to see her. Although they did not share space while Pocha was alive, that doesn’t mean that Lady would not want or benefit from being able to see her and say goodbye. But as always, that was her choice to make. Instead of coming closer to the barn, which although she was in Yard 5, she wasn’t that far, she walked further away. Lady walked to the back of Yard 5 and decided to stay there. Yesterday she was a little quiet and seemed to be listening intently, ears out, and very still when Shirlei approached her in the morning. Today she is very relaxed, rumbly, and was offering her foot before Shirlei was even ready to start her treatment.
We will continue to keep everyone updated on what is going on here, and hope to have a preliminary necropsy report next week, which would allow us to hopefully have something we can share. Thank you all again for the love you have shown Pocha, Guille, and the miraculous time she was able to have at the sanctuary.