Differences Between Guillermina and Pocha

Now that you’re learning more about Pocha and Guillermina (and you know how to pronounce their names), let’s take a look at some of the physical characteristics you can use to tell them apart from each other – and eventually to distinguish them from the other elephants. 

Pocha is the thinner of the two elephants, though both could stand to lose some weight (significantly so with Guille); Pocha’s face is also thinner than Guillermina’s. When looking at Pocha’s ears, you can see that her right ear folds backwards, while the left ear has a forward fold. Both of Guille’s ears have a forward fold.

Guillermina is a plump girl and taller than her mother. Her head is rounder and she has puffy eyes. Unlike Pocha, Guillermina has a very hairy tail: the end of her tail is the hairiest of all the elephants at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. But, quite frankly, her most prominent characteristic is her sheer size.

Personality-wise, Pocha seems to want to explore on her own some, but Guillermina sometimes calls her back when she walks too far away. Pocha was also the first to explore the mud wallow, while Guillermina declined to follow her mom’s lead. At the ecoparque, Guillermina could be controlling and disrespectful toward her mother at times, wanting to be in charge of what they both were doing. We are beginning to see hints of that behavior emerge at sanctuary, which is showing us exactly how patient Pocha can be. Though Guille has been sheltered for her entire life, that doesn’t make her meek. She has a lot to learn about how to have a healthy relationship, as she gradually eases into a larger group of elephants. Guillermina and Pocha’s personalities – and their bodies – will change and evolve as they spend more time at sanctuary.

Photo shows the size difference between Guillermina (left) and Pocha (right)


  1. REPLY
    Wim says

    Wonderful masterclass.

  2. REPLY
    Kayle says

    Your observations, commentary, and photos are so very much appreciated. I know it must be a lot of work to keep us all informed and it does not go unnoticed.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you for your kind words.

  3. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    I have thought that Guille’s eyes are more “hooded” than Pocha’s also – not as wide open?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      To my eye, they do appear a little more “hooded” as well.

  4. REPLY
    Jane Homer says

    Thank you for the descriptions… I am so glad they have come to your sanctuary and I’m looking forward to mum and daughter eventually merging into the rest of the herd or just enjoying the undoubted freedom from concrete and noise. Best Wishes Jane

  5. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Good to know these lil tidbits of identification! Guille sure does have a really round plump adorable belly on her and the hair on her tail isn’t typical of captive elephants either something I noticed right away too see you teach us so much about elephants that we soak up and remember we really appreciate and thank you for that! 😊

  6. REPLY
    Deb says

    Ditto what Kayle said!

  7. REPLY
    Sherry says

    I love the learning process, very interesting. Guille trying to be in charge. Thank you.

  8. REPLY
    Ann says

    So look forward to all your excellent posts on the girls, but particularly now with P&G to see how Mom & daughter are coping and adjusting to fit in at their forever home at GSE.
    As so many others have mentioned, I too wonder what they must be thinking as they go about slowly exploring their new surroundings. So much info to process after knowing nothing but a concrete enclosure for so many years. it was also so amazing to see it was our lovely but very private Lady who first came to investigate their arrival.
    BTW, is there any way to view the vid of P&G enjoying the mud wallow except on Instagram? That must have been quite the exhilarating first time experience for them that I’d love to see.
    God bless all the hard working and dedicated staff at GSE & all the beautiful eles in their care.

  9. REPLY
    Pam says

    Thanks so much! Love learning about these beautiful girls!

  10. REPLY
    Zoi Flores says

    Guillermina will need some time with my Rana Bug.

  11. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Oh, thank you for this lovely lesson! I need to become more observant of the characteristics of all the elephants. Love and hugs to all beings at ESB.

  12. REPLY
    Eileen L. says

    Love this post about the girls…thank you!

  13. REPLY
    Kelejan (Janice) says

    The firsr thing I noticed was the hairy tale.

  14. REPLY
    Maria says

    Is it me or why does Pochas belly look distended more so the Pochas belly supposed to be shaped like kind of look like she has a line in her belly?!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Guillermina’s belly is much bigger than Pocha’s. They do have different muscular structures, which is probably what you are referring to. Her belly needs to be smaller than it is.

  15. REPLY
    Bill says

    Thanks for the lesson on the new girls on the block. It is very insightful. I am sure that anyone has ever had their vision, hearing, or any of their senses improved, then I believe that they have had a minor glimpse into how Pocha’s and Guille’s senses have been changed. They are in a brave new world. New sights, sounds, and more of their species. Their personal interactions with each other, the ever evolving herd, and their new physical environment will take years to come close to completion.
    Keep up the great work at GSE with the rehabilitation of the growing herd and keeping us informed.

Post a comment

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