Miss Maia is starting to warm up her hay hat game in preparation for Ramba’s arrival. One issue Maia has is that she often gets hungry and has to snack on her attire. But she makes up for it in mud.
Cutie Ramba (still in Chile) got a face washing this morning. When it’s cold at night, and she sleeps in her barn, she usually needs a little cleaning up. But somehow it makes her look even more beautiful.
Several people asked how long it would take for her empty transport crate to get to the roadside zoo in Chile. We don’t have an exact timeline. It will take at least a week, but most likely more. The truck made sure there was plenty of time for them to get there when we are expecting them.
Weather can shift very quickly in the Andes, making driving impossible for a period of time. Along with many other reasons, an unpredictable, slow trip was part of not being willing to try driving Ramba to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. Her safety is our priority, so she will fly in style instead.
September 30, 2019
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Ramba’s crate has left the building. 🙂
She is not in the crate, it is empty and going to Chile. Her crate will be driving there, since flying is very expensive. Without having to worry about hours on the road or safety with an elephant on board, the truck can slowly make its way there. It will be a long and somewhat tedious drive, but it’s another step closer to bringing Ramba home to her new sisters.
Thank you again for everyone who helped make this happen. We’re going to keep saying it because without all of you, she wouldn’t be coming to sanctuary. Thank you.
September 29, 2019
To think that soon, we won’t be receiving photos of Ramba in her small yard on our phones each night, is strange. Ramba’s story of rescue is a long one, and it seems many people don’t know all of the details.
Scott first heard about Ramba when we were still at the sanctuary in TN. Ecópolis Disciplinas Integradas – Chile, the Chilean NGO, reached out to different sanctuaries to see if anyone could give them advice on getting an elephant out of the circus. This was 2009. Fast forward to 2011, we were no longer at the sanctuary, and Ecopolis had made significant progress but now needed a different kind of help. They had one last try to remove Ramba from the circus physically, or she would stay there for life. So we flew down to Chile, and that was the first time we met Ramba.
We successfully moved Ramba from the circus (which is quite the story in itself) and stayed with her for about 6 weeks. Our goal was to assess her well-being, transition her diet, train caregivers, and introduce her to positive reinforcement training. She was a total gem from the getgo, and we’ve loved her since then.
Her plans to go to a sanctuary in the US fell through, Ecopolis and the park had to adjust to the reality of having an elephant for more than the six months they thought they would, and we became more of a fixture in Ramba’s life. We made trips down to her to train new caregivers (Caro), went down when she lost weight to make sure she was ok, sent others to train her for procedures like blood draw when we were unavailable, and went down to get another caregiver from the US settled in to stay a bit and train yet another new caregiver (Consu).
At the beginning of this, Global Sanctuary for Elephants didn’t exist. It wasn’t even a thought. It wasn’t until years after we moved her from the circus that we were approached about the possibility of a sanctuary in Brazil. It just so happened that creating such a place also meant that finally there would be somewhere for Ramba to go and live out her life with other elephants. Years of hard work, a little lost sanity, a lot more patience, and hundreds of miles of red tape, and here we are.
Although we could have never imagined how long it would take to get Ramba here once Elephant Sanctuary Brazil existed, there was also a time everyone worried she would never get to any sanctuary. So we are grateful, although it’s still hard to believe. Soon things will come full circle, and Ramba’s rescue will be completed. She will finally be home.
September 27, 2019
Barn photos aren’t usually a favorite, but Ramba looks so pretty and soft in this photo.
Someone asked yesterday how long she will be in her crate for the journey- and we don’t have an exact answer. Ramba determines how the ground transport goes, how often we stop, and for how long. Some elephants need more breaks, others can become agitated on long stops. The other big mystery is how long the procedures at the airport will take.
There will be unloading and loading in both Chile and Brazil. And with each of those will come lots of government paperwork and official business that cannot be entirely handled beforehand. We have hired a company on each side to manage that aspect, we would be crazy not to. But even they can’t give us a time frame, it seems no one can.
The general outline looks like this- closing Ramba in the crate and then loading her onto the truck at the safari park- it takes a bit of time to get her properly seated and secured. Then it’s about a 3-hour drive to the airport in Santiago, stopping a couple of times initially to check in on her, even though we will have a camera system to watch her for the entire trip. Arrival at the airport in Chile, unloading her from the truck and loading her on a platform, strapping her crate down, and putting her onto the plane. Next is a 3-4 hour flight, with Scott and Laura (our vet) on board with Ramba, in jump seats. Landing in Brazil and reversing the unloading/loading process, removing all waste, food, and bedding from her crate (which is disposed of as biohazard) and lots more paperwork. Our Brazilian team and a different truck will be waiting at the Campinas airport. The truck will be stocked with hay, sugar cane, fresh grass, produce and water since we cannot bring any of that with us from outside of the country. Then it’s about a 2.5-day drive to the sanctuary.
It’s far from simple, but it’s the final step in bringing Ramba to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, so she can have what has been missing from her life- family, nature, and choice. Thank you to everyone for being patient and supportive through this long journey. It has taken longer than any of us ever thought possible, but she is finally almost home.
September 24, 2019