This video is of Bambi (58 years old) and Rana (63 years old), celebrating a downpour at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. It is beautiful to watch the two expressing themselves, being silly, and doing it together. But this reality is one that almost didn’t happen. Some argued that these elephants were too old to travel (the average lifespan of captive Asian elephants is around 40), and would not adjust to a life that offered them nature and a freedom they hadn’t known since being captive. Thankfully, the new owners of the facility where Rana was housed realized she needed more, and a judge decided the same for Bambi.
Time at the sanctuary can be short for some elephants. The South American captive population is quite old and many have suffered from decades of inappropriate diets, housing, and treatment. There is always a risk when moving an elephant, much like any time a human undergoes any sort of procedure. (It’s why they have you sign a release). But the joy and emotional healing that most elephants experience begins immediately upon arrival and, for most of us, that outweighs the risk.
Bambi and Rana received this chance at freedom that many other captive elephants will never know. We are eternally grateful for that, and for the blessing that their presence is at the sanctuary. It’s hard to imagine this place and how different things would be without them.
This grandma party started as a party of one, with Bambi trying to entice someone to come and play with her in the rain. Mara was separated out so we could offer her frequent meals, but Rana was in the same yard. After almost 5 minutes passed, something in Rana clicked and she was ready to go play. She went running out to where Bambi was, throwing her trunk up, blaring her super loud trumpet, and the silliness continued. There were a few minutes before we started recording, but the rain was coming down too hard to take video. And once they were done, they both enjoyed settling down with some hay.
The relationship between the two of them, their time at the sanctuary, and sharing it with you is an utter gift. Enjoy!
Our girls move around a lot in this video. You can recognize Rana because she has a fused left elbow from an injury sustained before coming to sanctuary.