Checking in with Guille

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. 



  1. REPLY
    Susana Tejedor says

    Pocha ha tenido la fortuna de terminar sus días rodeada de sus congéneres, viendo a su hija crecer anímicamente y ser aceptada.
    Ha podido disfrutar de la naturaleza.
    Me produce una profunda tristeza su partida, pero ha llegado en el mejor momento.
    Gracias por cuidar a las chicas con tanto amor y un trompeteo especial para Mara

  2. REPLY
    Natalia Mola says

    Muchas gracias, valoramos cada información que puedan compartirnos. Van a ser días de mucha vulnerabilidad para todos, es muy duro. Los abrazo

  3. REPLY
    Stephanie Ann says

    Thank you for the update on Guille and the other ladies. Yard 3 is a perfect resting place. I know that all of you have so much to do right now, and all of you are grieving as well. I have no doubt that you will carefully watch Guille, especially right now. Thank you for all that each of you have done to give Pocha a wonderful life and a chance to show her daughter things like ponds, mud, soft grasses, and so much more. She finally had the chance to give her daughter a beautiful life and new friends and Aunties. Sending hugs to all. Thank you.

  4. REPLY
    Michelle Kelso says

    Thank you so much for your in depth and heartfelt explanations. We all grieve with you and your staff. I am sending a big elephant size hug to Miss Guille as she learns to heal from this loss.

  5. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    Again, all my thoughts with all of you, Kat and Scott, the staff, and our beloved girls. This seems so unfair, but There are things we do not have control over, unfortunately. What eases my heart a bit is knowing that Pocha lived to see Guille in a herd, with caring aunts and awesome people. Lots of love ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  6. REPLY
    John says

    Thank you for that update. However, I have a feeling many of us are probably wondering how all the humans are doing.

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      hi john,

      we’re ok, mostly preoccupied with how the elephants are doing. honestly, one of the things that always bothers me personally (kat) is when facilities talk about elephants passing and focus on the human caregivers. yes, we are hurting, we will miss her, and scott definitely had a soft spot for her, as she did for him. but it’s difficult to think of ourselves when we know how difficult this will be for Guille, even with the support of the other girls. and not only her, but we know Maia tends to feel strongly, and we want to make sure she is ok. Lady, who we don’t want to be left out, but is able to make her own choices. it’s easy to focus on them. that doesn’t mean we haven’t shed tears, with even some of her caregivers in disbelief, but watching how the girls have come together is incredibly healing for all of us. ❤️❤️

  7. REPLY
    Patricia Aguilar says

    I’m glad Guille didn’t have to go through this alone, without elephant friends and companions. I think Pocha would be glad, too. She was the best of mothers, nurturing her daughter through horrible times and at her side knowing Guille would be safe and loved forever.

  8. REPLY
    NANETTE Cummings says

    So loving you all, humans and elephants. My heart hurts for this loss.

  9. REPLY
    Cassie Raymond says

    And thank you for the constant love and care you give to the elephants. You’re all amazing and I wish I could hug each and every one of you during this difficult time.

  10. REPLY
    Alejandra Enquin says

    Gracias Kat me gustaria abrazarte fuerte ahora.Te siento familia y tu amor y el de Scott por Pocha Guille y todas las chicas hace que la distancia no exista realmente.Ustedes con sus enseñanzas y su trabajo noble y tan minucioso de dedicacion amorosa dejan una huella profunda en la vida en la Tierra.Pocha recupero Años de vida en un corto tiempo en el Santuario y asi como parecio haber estado siempre alli estara por siempre 🙏❤️🐘.Gracias por tanto amor Pocha querida .Tu nombre es dulzura y tu presencia es Luz eterna.

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      thank you ❤️❤️

  11. REPLY
    Barb Campbell says

    Thank you so much Kat for this update. I am very sure everyone has been wondering so lovely to see the girls 💞💞

  12. REPLY
    Julie says

    Thank you! It is so comforting to have visual reassurance that Guille will survive the loss of our dear Pocha. The sun will come up each day, and slowly Guille will get back on the path of healing. The Ellies are all in this journey as a family now. That is the most comforting of all. Sincerest love to all!

  13. REPLY
    Monica Carrillo says

    Desde Argentina, esperamos la autopsia con ansias de Pocha porque nunca tuvo problemas de salud que nos hicieran pensar de este desenlace. Cuiden a Guillermina como el tesoro que es, tiene solo 24 años…

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      my apologies, but to say an elephant that didn’t have health care or testing had no health issues is denial and ignorance. she had a lifetime of inappropriate living, which had an accumulative effect on her health, like many other captive elephants. but do not worry, we should have preliminary autopsy results next week, and we can share in a scientific way, what was the cause of her death.

  14. REPLY
    Wim says

    Thank you for the update. Must be strange picking up the pieces and trying to move on.
    Hope Guille will find her way without her mother!

  15. REPLY
    Sue says

    Thank you, Kat, for sharing as much info with all of us as possible. Your words are comforting and help me to process what has happened. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for you and everyone at Sanctuary. Sending love and prayers to all, and especially to Guille. Hoping she can learn how to get through this most difficult time with love and comfort from all of you and the Girls. It is so beautiful that each sweet being that passes at Sanctuary is buried at Sanctuary. Thank you for doing that with such thought and care. Appreciate you all so very much. Love and hugs, ❤️🐘❤️

  16. REPLY
    Carmen Dalziel says

    I’m glad to know you are touching her. She needs that loving touch from a human now and then and this is very much appropriate. My heart is still sad. It’s just so hard to believe she’s gone. I hope Guille finds a buddy to trust and learn from. Please keep us updated and give her a kiss from me

  17. REPLY
    Lori DeHoog says

    Thank you for your follow up and to tell us about Lady’s take of the situation. We know it’s much
    harder on all of you during these times. It’s very thoughtful of you all to keep us informed.

  18. REPLY
    Liora says

    It warms my heart and astonishes me how wonderful you guys always are with the Elephants. Prioritizing and thinking of them first and their feelings and how they will react. They are and we are all truly blessed to have you there loving them and caring for them. Having said that, I always gasp when I see the email that says In Memory of….starting with the shock of losing Guida. What a gift you gave to Pocha, and Guille bringing them there so that they could know comfort and peace and the companionship of other elephants. I shudder to think of how it would’ve been for Guillermina to be stuck in those cement walls alone. I just can’t thank you enough from the bottom of my heart for not letting that be her reality. Great work. ❤️🌎🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘🌎❤️

  19. REPLY
    Kenneth B. Newman says

    NO one has even mentioned Tamy in this sad time……When GSE finally gets to bring Tamy to the sanctuary, what kind of interaction will happen between Guille and he father? Will Guille be able to tell her dad that his wife? her mother passed away? I do hope that GSE will allow some interaction between father and daughter……..Any update on when some of the other elephants, both Asian and African, might start to arrive at GSE?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      there is a possibility that he already knows- we can’t explain or understand the communication between them. as we have answered to you previously, there will be a connecting fence line between Tamy and the females, so if Guille wants to come and see Tamy, she can. At this time it looks like Kenya should be the next to arrive, but permits are the issue, as is normal, so no date until they go through. but, as always, we will let you know once we know.

  20. REPLY
    Pam says

    Thank you for taking the time to post this update, Kat, when I know you are grieving while also having to deal with many practical matters, too. It’s heart wrenching to imagine Guillermina without her mama, so especially good to hear (and see) how closely the others are supporting her. Please tell Guille that we all love her and are holding her in our hearts. And all the other girls, too, especially sensitive Maia. Much love to all.

  21. REPLY
    Beci says

    Ty again for sharing. I am sending all you humans a very big hug and my sympathies as this has to be so hard for you who rescued and loved them from that point on. I am upset and I only see through your eyes so please know my prayers are with you all. You are very special people to do what you do and I thank you again. ❤️🙏🏻💞💞

  22. REPLY
    Susan says

    Canada here…appreciate you taking time out of your caring for the girls and your own grieving to update us. All your followers are understandably upset and we are thinking of you. Peace.

  23. REPLY
    Andy says

    I am not by any means an expert on Ele behavior but they seem to know how to greive and to cope with that. The way they go about their lives is remarkable and being able to know their thoughts would be remarkable also. 💞🐘

  24. REPLY
    Carol says

    Sending much love and strength…to humans and the girls. Prayers especially for Pocha and Guille. 🙏🏻💖💖🙏🏻💖💖🙏🏻

  25. REPLY
    Liliana says

    Gracias por tenernos al tanto de la reacción de todos los grandotes, en especial de Guille. Pocha fue una madraza maravillosa y compartieron 24 años juntas en todo momento. Por supuesto que la extrañará. Pero Dios quiso que esta triste partida haya sido algunos meses después de la llegada de ambas al Santuario. Guille ya tuvo tiempo de hermanarse con sus congéneres y eso la ayudará a sobrellevar este dolor. Si hubiera sucedido esto en el zoo de Mendoza, creo que habríamos tenido que llorar una reacción muy peligrosa para la salud y la misma vida de Guille. Quizás Pocha “aguantó” estos meses para irse, tranquila con el futuro de su hija.
    Vuelvo a agradecerles infinitamente que nos tengan al tanto a pesar del inmenso dolor que están soportando. Eso habla maravillosamente del grupo humano que cuida, protege y ama a esos grandotes hermosos.

  26. REPLY
    Deb says

    It worries me that I’m thousands of miles away & feel such loss for an elephant I’ve never met let alone talked to & hugged. You are so descriptive in your blogs I feel I know all the girls & you all. So I’m trying to say you must be devastated, along with Guille & the girls.
    I can’t imagine your grief & I wish all of you the very best & lots of love.

    Please know so many of us wait excitedly everyday for your videos & pictures.
    The girls are important in our lives & we have you all to thank for that happiness.
    I’m so thankful for ESB 💝🙏🏻🐘

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      the elephants are some of the most beautiful souls you will meet. we are happy you feel connected with them. we know words can never fully express who/how they are, but at least we are doing enough that you get to know them for who they truly are, and love them. ❤️

  27. REPLY
    Maria Hungerbühler says

    Só uma palavra consigo dizer : Gratidão a todos vocês do Santuário, mas principalmente a Scott e Kat pelo Amor e Compreensão por esse seres que nos ensinam a viver. Obrigada Scott, Kat.
    Mama Pocha , que o Universo te receba .Obrigada.

  28. REPLY
    Maria Hungerbühler says

    Que o Universo te receba.

  29. REPLY
    Jo Koster says

    I’m so glad Pocha knew happiness in her short time at sanctuary, and know that you will give Guille all the support she needs. Sending condolences and support to you and all the Sanctuary staff.

  30. REPLY
    Rose says

    I’m so sorry for the loss of Pocha. I’m glad both mom and daughter had time together at the sanctuary and met friends and so Guille won’t be on her own! 💔🕊💕

  31. REPLY
    Patricia says

    I am heartbroken, and I am grateful that Pocha got to have some months with her baby girl Guille at the sanctuary. I am very concerned about Guille–it seemed she was opening and closing her mouth in a strange way in this video? You didn’t mention it, so it’s probably okay, but I love her so and I’m always concerned. Thank you for loving them so much and taking the best care of them all. I send them many kisses and pets. Pocha, you join a beautiful group of elephant angels in heaven. We will sure miss you here.

  32. REPLY
    Terry Silva says

    Thank you for the update. It is good to hear that no one is having too much difficulty around the loss of Pocha, as devastating as it is. Blessings.

  33. REPLY
    Susy says

    Gracias… necesito saber que pudo pasar con Pocha..y que continúen compartiendo el día a día de Guille y las amigas. Pocha y Guille han sido , desde que conocí la historia de ambas, parte de mí vida y lo serán por siempre. Gracias por este informe y creo que han sido cuidadas y contenidas, pero lamentablemente, tantos años de encierro seguramente la complicó .

  34. REPLY
    Viviana Gallo says

    Es un gran consuelo saber que Guillermina está acompañada de su nueva familia, sus tías elefantas y ustedes, los amorosos íntegrantes del santuario. Dios los bendiga

  35. REPLY
    Pierrette says

    Thank you so much for the update about Guille 🥰🐘🥰❤️ Glad to see she is ok and with the other girls who will comfort Guille and also you Kat and Scott Guille is gona need this. Nowing Pocha🥰🐘🥰💔😥😥😥 and Guille where always together a great lost for the Sweet girl 😥😥😥😥 Thank you so much Kat and Scott for giving Mama Pocha the best time of her life ❤️ Take care of Sweet Guille she needs you so much right now ! sending much Love to all of you and the herd ❤️💔🥰🐘🐘💔😥😥😥😥😥

  36. REPLY
    Carey says

    Thank goodness Guille is surrounded by her elephant friends, it’s very special to watch. Thank goodness also that Pocha didn’t die at the zoo and have to leave Guille alone there, it doesn’t bear thinking about. The group does indeed seem somber, I’m missing Pocha’s chattering and calm presence as the girls and you must be – even more so.

  37. REPLY
    Finn Jørgensen Lock says

    I am so sorry over Pocha, it was such a shock..
    Thank you for everything you do. I love them all, all the girls, all of you..

    Hvil i Fred Pocha

  38. REPLY
    María Elizabeth Alvarez says

    Gracias por contarnos, son las preguntas que me hago. Cómo estará Guille. Les va agradezco profundamente.

  39. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Bless them. Thank you for caring for them💚

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.