EleFact Friday: Lady’s Relationships

It’s EleFACT Friday and today is all about our lovely Lady. We often get questions and comments regarding Lady’s decision to exist more independently around the sanctuary. People sometimes assume that because Lady is an elephant who prefers to spend her days alone rather than join the others, she is unsocial or even dislikes the other elephants. We’re happy to say that this isn’t true. There have been several instances in the past where Lady has been pleased and willing to share space with the other sanctuary residents. 

Back in 2020, we wrote several blog posts about instances of Lady and Rana spending time and sharing space together. This isn’t totally surprising for those of you who know Rana, who is very respectful of boundaries and sensitive to the emotions of the other elephants. In February of 2020, Lady was in the habit of observing Rana as she received her treatments. After a few days of watching her test the waters and slowly pushing herself to be a bit more comfortable, we decided to allow Lady an opportunity to spend time with Rana if she seemed interested. With some encouragement through praise and treats, Lady eventually walked into the same yard as Rana, and kept a noticeably soft manner as the two enjoyed a few moments of quiet time. 

There have also been times where Lady shared space with both Mara and Rana in Yard 4. In the larger yard, there were opportunities for Mara and Rana to show Lady that they respected her space by staying outside of her “bubble.” The two girls were very good at sensing that Lady became anxious if they got too close and would respond slowly and passively, allowing Lady to exist peacefully, if a little bit distanced. 

It is important to remember that just because we don’t see many instances of Lady sharing space with others, it doesn’t mean that she’s “less than” the other girls – less healed, less emotionally mature, or less brave. If anything, her decision to be independent could be seen as an act of courage and healing in itself. We’ve said it many times, but the greatest gift we can continue to give Lady is the opportunity to make her own decisions. After so many years in captivity and not knowing the peace that comes from autonomy, her true self exists in the ability to be exactly who she is. In this case, that may be the petite girl that we all know and love, who best shows her care and friendship from a comfortable distance. 

In the future, there may be more instances of Lady showing an interest in sharing space with the others, as she did in the last few weeks by approaching Pocha and Guillermina. We want everyone to take pride in Lady, her journey of growth, and allow her to live her life just the way she wants. 



  1. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Confession-time! Lady is my “favorite” 🤗. I love all the girls – one as much as another – but Lady has always impressed me because she is so clearly choosing to do her own thing. And that does take courage, which I admire. ❤️🐘❤️

  2. REPLY
    Katherine says


  3. REPLY
    Rachel says

    Absolutely. I love Lady just as she is and understand that even though you might heal from trauma of one sort or another, you’ll never be the same. However, when healing begins, growth must be allowed to continue at a pace that’s comfortable for the individual, and that journey of healing must be respected. Thus the reason I’m such a huge fan of GSE – the consistencies of accepting, adapting, loving and gently encouraging when the time is right is the perfect medicine for the traumatized soul. I’m very proud of our sweet, gentle Lady indeed. 💝

  4. REPLY
    John says

    What a great explanation of Lady and her place in the herd. Thank you!

  5. REPLY
    Barb says

    I like solitude myself and Lady has often chosen that path. Her choice and we respect her decision.

  6. REPLY
    Pam says

    I look forward to these posts every day! I love learning about all the girls — each story adds to a sense of connection to the elephants as we see how they interact with each other and get glimpses into life at Sanctuary. I think those of us who tend to be “outsiders” can especially relate to Lady and her unique ways … Thank you!

  7. REPLY
    Suzanne Eaton says

    Lady has always had my admiration, understanding and love because I can relate to her in my own life. I also like and need my “alone” time, lots of it. Lady is making choices that make her happy. She is brave and courageous in a world that has not been good to her, but sanctuary and her new humans have given her choices. We all need that kind of freedom. Thank you Scott, Kat, Sara and others who recognize that need for these amazing sentient beings. Lady, you have stolen my heart.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  8. REPLY
    Juan says

    Just want to comment on the writing, which oozes both knowledge and compassion. Amazing work

  9. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    It’s so good to read a reassuring post about our precious Lady, as I tend to worry about her being by herself while the others hang out with their friends. I so appreciate your understanding of their needs and growth, as well as your understanding of us who love these girls so much and fret about them like a bunch of mother hens!! Much love to you all!!

  10. REPLY
    Wim says

    She always walks straight into your heart.
    All elephants are equal but some are more equal than others. A very extraordinary personality. 👌💚

  11. REPLY
    Elis says

    Its so nice that Lady can do what she feels comfortable with on her own terms, and is loved for who she is. Lady you are perfect and amazing .

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