There is always work to be done!
Check that off of the list:
Construction continues on the male Asian habitat. The barn and three stalls in the barn are finished, and we added a retaining wall to protect the structure during rainy season. The first yard’s fencing has also been completed. Though we knew that the fences would be larger than those of the female habitat, it’s quite impressive to see how tall and sturdy they are when they are in front of you. See the photo of Scott and the SEMA representatives above for scale. The pond has been dug in the first yard, so we can see notable progress. Fencing takes the longest time, since it requires miles of steel be installed, but we’re proud of the work that’s being accomplished.
The barn and the first three yards of the female African habitat have been completed and are ready for Kenya, Pupy, and Kuky. We will need to expand that habitat shortly after their arrival in order to give them the necessary room to explore, heal, and learn how to be elephants again. You can donate to this expansion through our Room 2 Roam fundraiser or via the general donation page.
All for the elephants
Update on Elephants Waiting for Sanctuary
Tamy has recently been given access to their Pocha and Guillermina’s old area at the zoo. This new location will allow the staff to begin the training necessary for Tamy to be able to make the journey to the sanctuary- his training has yet to begin.
Kenya is currently scheduled to come to ESB next, though she, Kuky, and Pupy are still waiting on permits to be approved. Buenos Aires has applied to Argentina for K&P’s export permits (they are needed first before import permits can be applied for) and we are still waiting on Brazil to approve Kenya’s import permits. Due to their delay in approving her permits, Kenya’s Argentinian export permits have expired, and Mendoza has already applied for renewal. Unfortunately, this level of bureaucracy is something that can’t be avoided when moving elephants from one country to another in South America.
Check social media and our blog for updates from Mendoza during this time.
Sanctuary Herd Update
We share daily updates on the girls through our blog posts and on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
Maia seems to be Guillermina’s current favorite “big sister”. As Guillermina is working to learn more about sanctuary life and acclimate to a world without her mother, she’s been looking to Maia as a favorite companion. She is also continuing to expand her comfort zone and let the other elephants see more of her personality, spending time around Bambi, Rana, and Mara on a regular basis.
Rana has a good relationship with all of the other elephants these days. She has taken on a quiet leadership role in helping Guillermina acclimate to sanctuary life, but her empathetic approach seems to be making a difference. We think that she’s perhaps getting even cuter these days, which we could never imagine possible before. Her sisters continue to rely on her as a comforting and reliable presence.
Lady has been exploring Yard 5 lately, with access into Yard 1 so she can return to the barn if she chooses. Her wandering is beneficial both physically and emotionally. She’s also become a speedy girl, wandering from Yard 5, to the barn, and then back again with a quickness. The increased circulation helps her feet, while the different scenery, with all of its sights and smells, stimulates her mind.
Mara’s appetite continues to be stellar and she’s eating everything she is offered, other than an occasional imperfect carrot or hated beets. She has become a quiet source of strength for Guillermina, which means that she may sense that the young elephant needs guidance after the loss of her mother. Mara is also more welcoming of Maia into the group, mostly paying little attention to her (which is fine considering how unsettled she once was by Maia’s energy).
Bambi is at a point where the initial excitement of everything new has worn off and she’s starting to look a bit inward. She has become a leader in helping Guillermina become a cohesive part of the sanctuary herd. We are restarting training with Bambi, so that she can brush up on some of the behaviors necessary for treatment and evaluation. We’re hoping she can channel some of her excited energy into that, as she does in everyday life.
Guillermina is learning how to cope with the loss of her mother, Pocha. She has found comfort in both Maia and Bambi, who seem to spend the most time with her. Rana and Mara are also sharing space with her, but appear to be helping in quieter ways. Guille still has big energy and is trying to best discover how to channel it, whether that means brisk walks through the habitat or gentle teasing of Bambi. It may be a long road for Guillermina to discover who she is without her mother around, but she will not be alone in her journey.
Why They Need You
THE CRISIS FACING CAPTIVE ELEPHANTS
Thousands of captive elephants in zoos and circuses around the world are suffering. Year after year of isolation, restraint, malnutrition, abuse, and lack of adequate exercise and proper medical care exact a harsh physical and psychological toll.
In October 2016, we made Elephant Sanctuary Brazil a reality with the rescue of our first two female Asian elephants – Maia and Guida. Seven other elephants have called ESB home since then. Our current progress shows that we have come incredibly far, but there’s still a tremendous amount of work to be done.
There are more elephants waiting for a chance at their own healing journeys like the ones Maia, Guida, Rana, Ramba, Lady, Mara, Bambi, Pocha, and Guillermina have taken. GSE can provide the expertise and knowledge, but we need your support to make sanctuary a reality for other captive elephants.
Together we are part of the solution for captive elephants. We are grateful beyond words to you for giving these elephants the second chance they deserve and are so desperately in need of.
The Formula Is Simple
The sooner we can build, the sooner elephants come to sanctuary.
Keep Caring. Keep Sharing.
Together we are changing everything for these elephants so desperately in need.