EleFact Friday: Yearly Round-Up

If there’s anything we know for sure, it’s that working with elephants is a constant journey of learning: not only learning aspects of animals as individuals, but educating ourselves about the species as a whole in order to provide them with the best care possible. A big part of sanctuary, and our overall mission, is to pass that education and knowledge onto others. This year, we continued to use our weekly EleFACT Friday posts to share anatomical, physiological, and sometimes just fascinating information with you, hoping to expand your elephant expertise. 

We shared about protected contact and its importance to our sanctuary, allowing us to honor the elephants and their physical space while ensuring safety for both humans and sanctuary residents alike. With the change of the seasons, we talked about the climate of the sanctuary and how elephants keep themselves appropriately cooled (or warmed) when temperatures vary by thermoregulating their large bodies. 

We looked at larger-scaled studies, like the project based out of Namibia that tracked a herd of elephants that seemed to predict the weather and move with the rain. We spent several weeks examining the elephant trunk in all of its glory – from the nerves and neurons that compose the trunk itself, to the muscles in the face that power the trunk as a tool; there seems to be a never ending wealth of information about how anatomically amazing the trunk really is. 

Of course, we talked about food: from sharing about the preferences of the sanctuary residents when it comes to tasty treats, to discussing more about how we use diets as a tool to monitor physical and emotional wellness, we always love being able to provide the girls with healthy diets and share the stories of their mealtimes with our supporters. 

Perhaps the most important topic that we cover in our weekly EleFACT posts is the emotional wellness of the elephants. With the arrival of Pocha and Guilelrmina to sanctuary this year, we observed two elephants undergo some significant emotional changes and did our best to keep you informed along the way. With the unexpected passing of Pocha a few months later, we’ve been able to further witness the complex emotional processes that Guillermina is working through. We discussed the neurological changes that affect elephants’ emotional well-being in captivity, a process that we attempt to “reverse” by bringing them to sanctuary. We hope that by sharing the stories of emotional grief and healing, others can learn about the importance of sanctuary in the role of sustaining the species and bringing more elephants out of captivity and into a safe space.

To read all of or EleFACT posts from this year, visit the link below. Thank you to everyone who has kept up and followed along throughout 2022!

Photo of Mara grazing in the habitat

P.S.: For those of you who have been following along with our End of Year campaign, we have reached our first goal to funding approximately one year of care for Guillermina! That unlocks a special video revealing the next elephant we’re focusing on: Rana

Watch here:


  1. REPLY
    Luanne L Schick says

    You are Angels 😇 without visible wings. God bless 🙌 🙏 all your Amazing Hearts for Rescuing and protecting those magnificent creatures. A note from the Elephants 🐘. Thank you for all your compassion ❤️ 🙏, Love.
    Happy New Year 2023. Alberta Canada ❤️.

  2. REPLY
    Wim says

    Thank you for educating us around the clock. It fills a lot of gaps in need to know elephants science.

  3. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    Thanks again for the education about what it takes to care for these beautiful Eles. Look forward each and every day to read about them and see pics and videos. Here’s wishing each and everyone at GSB a Happy and prosperous new year.

  4. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Just made a year-end donation that I wish were a million dollars! I love you all dearly, elephants, humans, and other animals at the sanctuary. Every day of my life you make me smile, filled with gratitude. I can’t thank you enough.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you for thinking of us this time of year. We so appreciate you following us every day!

  5. REPLY
    Nora Silva says

    Uds son maravillosos, hacen cosas que nos sorprenden día a día. Este año aprendí tanto sobre los elefantes que jamás imaginé podía pasar eso. Todo comenzó con el traslado de Pocha y Guillermina, que lo seguí pasó a paso. Gracias por todo lo que hacen por estas niñas tan bellas y por mi también. Seguiré aprendiendo con todas las publicaciones. Qué el 2023 los llene de amor, bendiciones y donaciones 🙏. Los quiero mucho 🥰❤️

  6. REPLY
    Carey says

    I have learnt so much, and can’t thank you enough, year on year I learn more and I love it, and it’s essential to me. I know it takes extra work, and I’m grateful, I very much wish all sanctuaries made that committment and had the resources. I get frustrated when I ask questions knowing that comments won’t be monitored or questions picked up. on other groups sites. You are an exception. I have to admit to being a knowledge vulture , but we need educating . Thank you, the work is very much appreciated. It must be pretty much a full time job all in all !

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you for such kind words. We’re grateful you take the time to read our posts each day!

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