From Kat: Lady’s 3rd Re-Birthday

Tomorrow is Lady’s 3-year re-birthday. Three years since a stunning, spunky, yet less-than-patient elephant, who used a very unmistakable way of communicating (hitting her head at you), started to realize her life was about to change, and there was a different way to be. Lady is a gem and has earned herself the nickname ‘Perfect Princess’ – mostly true, but part sarcasm. In Scott’s 35 years with elephants, he found her to be one of the most challenging he has ever worked with, primarily because of her insistence on you being uniquely present in an ever-demanding world – hard for someone running a sanctuary. It is difficult to stop thinking of the never-ending list of things that need to be done, but Lady won’t have it any other way. She has caused us all to look at ourselves more deeply when it comes to what we bring to the table in our interactions with her; but that level of introspection and taking responsibility has poured over into our relationships with the other elephants, and made us all better caregivers. While she would generally not be labeled a ‘good’ or ‘easy’ elephant, she doesn’t need those labels. Quite simply, she’s better than that. 

Some may feel sorry for Lady, either due to her feet or her desire not to get physically close to the other elephants. But that’s not something we feel towards Lady. Of course, we have the benefit of being with her and not only seeing her, but feeling her presence and how strong she is.

But there are others that don’t need to meet Lady to feel this way. Many people from around the world have reached out and said how inspired they are by her or how they find strength in her. And this is one of her most beautiful qualities (although she is very pretty as well 😉 ). People have voiced that, in their struggles, they have found courage in her story, in all that she has been through and how she still finds a way to not only move forward, but also to find joy. People who have suffered abuse, trauma, or just find themselves in an emotionally difficult place look at Lady and feel that if she can heal after all she has been through, there is hope for them. That maybe tomorrow will be better. 

I have always felt there is no greater strength than vulnerability and, after decades of being mistreated, dismissed, and uncared for, Lady opened herself up to the possibilities that a new life of sanctuary could offer. She has learned to trust humans, both emotionally and physically. She has allowed them to provide her with much-needed care, and even if not touching, has found solace and companionship in others of her own kind, in her own way. She is a continual work in progress, as we all should be, but even if her growth stopped tomorrow, she has already come so far from a place that was so dark. 

Lady isn’t ‘Poor Lady.’ She is perfectly ‘Badass Lady.’ She has certainly taught all of us here a thing or two or twelve. So in celebration of her three years at sanctuary, which has contained a lifetime of progress, please honor Lady for a strength many of us will never truly know. The lessons she shares are often impossible to teach, because it can be hard for people to open themselves up to in a way that allows them to accept. Lady finds a path into our hearts and shares in a gentle and genuine way. She has touched those who need her without even being in their presence. For that, I am in awe and will always see her as one of the most impressive elephants I have ever known. I consider myself lucky to play a role in her life.  

It is not about what you do, but the mark you leave on the world. Who you have touched and those you have helped. And in that regard, Lady’s a rockstar.  – From Kat

P.S.: Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday and, although Lady is tough, she does require a significant amount of care. That is why this year we are focusing on offering Lady the gift of healthier feet. The goal is to raise the funds needed to provide a year of health care for Lady, allowing her to put her “best foot forward.” We feel it’s fitting that, since it’s her 3rd re-birthday here at GSE, we make tomorrow all about her in so many important ways. Please join us in helping celebrate all of the wonderful things about Lady by supporting her healing and comfort.


  1. REPLY
    Carey says

    An Fb friend has a fundraiser for Lady’s feet which I have given a little to, so done!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you, Carey!

  2. REPLY
    Patricia says

    The first time I saw Lady was also the first time I had logged on to GSE, my first rescue and the first elephant I fell totally in love with.
    I became very sick afterwards with Covid and tho’ I wasn’t hospitalized I spent many days in bed. What kept me going was following my Princess as she adjusted to sanctuary life, laughing at her cute hairdo, her hay hats and her refusal to mix with the other girls.
    Learning about her life, her trauma and the problems with her feet was my source of interest when not feeling like reading a book, and became absorbed into the life of these beautiful Girls. Her courage in the face of so much cruelty was inspirational, she taught me so much
    I made new friends, became part of the GSE family and received the wonderful gift of guardianship.
    Every day is a joy receiving news, learning so much about Ellie’s from Scott and Kat, sharing laughter, shedding tears and eagerly awaiting new arrivals, I love all the girls but Sweet Lady you will always be my No 1

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you for loving sweet Lady – and we’re glad you found us, even if it wasn’t in the best of circumstances. Lady is a special girl!

  3. REPLY
    Polly Weber says

    I have loved watching/reading/hearing of Lady’s emotional transition from “dark” to “Diva”!
    It always brings out that “Go Girl” response in me!

  4. REPLY
    Sunny says

    Mi Lady 😘

  5. REPLY
    Wim says

    Beautifully written ‘ode’ to our very special LADY. She knows the way to your heart.
    Happy Re-Birthday. 👌🥳👏

  6. REPLY
    JamesMichael says

    Happy 3rd Re-birthday dear sweet Lady. You show us how to be strong in the face of adversity , so strong yet comfortable in your demeaner.Love to you always, Sweet Lady…and again, Happy re- Birthday.

  7. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    a beautiful post about our beautiful Lady! I love learning about all the girls, but Lady is still my most special favorite.

  8. REPLY
    Melinda says

    Lady is such an amazing being! I envy those who can interact with her and show her all the love and care she deserves!

  9. REPLY
    SC says

    HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 3rd Birthday to one SPECIAL LADY!
    You’re the BEST.

  10. REPLY
    Beji says

    I like to think that I don’t have favorites when it comes to the girls. But that’s not really true. Lady is my favorite. Always has been. I’m honored to help support her financially. Sending 3 year re-birthday good wishes. I bet she’s having a hoot!!

  11. REPLY
    Zoi Flores says

    Happy 3rd te-birthday my dear Lady, you absolutely are a rock star!. This year instead of sending a gift basket I’m donating to support Lady’s care wishing you guys get your goal. Thank you for all the love.

  12. REPLY
    Alejandra Enquin says

    Gracias Lady por tu ejemplo tu fuerza y tu ternura, tu confianza a pesar de la historia de dolor, tu resiliente actitud hacia la vida, tu amor y lealtad a Kat en quien te ves reflejada, gracias por respetarte y marcar tus tiempos tus compases tus silencios y tambien disfrutar tus momentos felices.Como gran observadora tomas una distancia y no perdes registro de todo lo que pasa en la familia Santuario.Y ademas de bella sos coqueta y una gran maestra .te mando un beso en esa preciosa trompa.

  13. REPLY
    Debbie M says

    Happy 3rd Re-Birthday to Lady! Lady has a special place in my heart! I love seeing videos of her playing in the ponds & bushes and kicking trees. Thank you Kat & Scott for taking such great care of Lady and the other girls.

  14. REPLY
    Zoi Flores says

    Happy 3rd te-birthday my dear Lady, you absolutely are a rock star!. This year instead of sending a gift basket I’m donating to support Lady’s care wishing you guys get your goal. 💖

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you! It will do Lady lots of good.

  15. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Kat, what a beautifully touching tribute to our “Badass Lady” reading it brought tears to my eyes and a much deeper understanding of who Lady really is so thank you for that I know we all feel even closer to her now! 💞🐘💞

  16. REPLY
    Tammy says

    HAPPY HAPPY 3rd RE-BIRTHDAY LADY! we love you very much!🎂🐘😘

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