Great Progress in a Short Amount of Time

Each day, we are seeing Guillermina and Pocha take more steps forward – literally and figuratively. They spend most of their days in Yard 4 with the others, sometimes in the deepest parts of the yard. Depending on the day or on everyone’s mood, they will take time with different elephants: some moments Maia is in between the two ladies, and other times they might ease toward Rana or Bambi. The other elephants don’t seem to have any clear affinity for either Pocha or Guillermina most of the time. Everyone just seems to go where the day takes them, and that’s a positive.

This progress is considerable when you think about how deeply entrenched Pocha and Guillermina were in learned behaviors when they first got to sanctuary. Thinking of their lives in their old enclosure is such a disconnect from what we see now. We can honestly say that we had no idea exactly what their journeys would look like when they got to sanctuary. It hasn’t been what some would see as a “perfect” road, but both elephants have taken significant strides forward on their paths toward healing and are doing exactly what they need. After seeing them at sanctuary for just over two months now, it’s hard to believe that their lives were so different than they are today. The amount of progress made by both Pocha and Guille in a short period of time shows how resilient they are and how naturally captive elephants, even those from deprived conditions, settle into a life of sanctuary.

Photo of Pocha and Guillermina on a walk through the habitat 


  1. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    Nothing short of miraculous, it seems to me!

  2. REPLY
    Karen says

    They are amazing. We were talking about this recently, Pocha and Guilla’s quick embrace of all that surrounds them in their lives now.

  3. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says


  4. REPLY
    Patricia says

    It’s so wonderful! I am so grateful! I remember that it seemed so long, waiting for them to get to ESB, and now here we are! To all at ESB—thank you for being such a source of light and good in our benighted world. 💖🌟💖

  5. REPLY
    Katherine says

    Wonderful progress

  6. REPLY
    Carey says

    It is truly astounding how resilient they are and how much they have changed. To get used to such a huge difference in their lives from their sterile deprived zoo environment, to learn so much in such a short time. Of course it must be delightful for them in so many ways. It’s such a pleasure to be able to share their journey through your wonderful blog and updates. Thank you, I am also like them, learning so much, have been from day 1 9 years ago.

  7. REPLY
    John says

    I think Pocha and Guille are teaching all of us a thing or two about life, and making the best of it.

  8. REPLY
    Juan Esteban Suraci says

    Emocionante en todos los aspectos

  9. REPLY
    Pam says

    It’s great to see and hear about this ongoing progress! Because I came on board with GSE when Pocha and Guillermina were rescued, I don’t have a frame of reference to compare their progress with that of the other elephants when they arrived … I’m just thrilled at how they are doing, and it sounds like even long-timers feel the same. Thanks for the update, always look forward to these.

  10. REPLY
    Juan Esteban Suraci says

    Emocionante por donde se lo mire

  11. REPLY
    liza says

    They just look so happy, their countenance has changed considerably I think.

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    Viviana Gallo says

    Realmente es maravilloso ver como estas amadas elefantas han recuperado su alegría de vivir. Dios bendiga a todos en el santuario por devolverles su dignidad.

  13. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    A beautiful sight! 🐘🐘

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    Mark Skipsey says

    Absolutely delighted for these two ladies!
    I often wonder if Pocha and Guillermina take time out to reflect upon their beautiful new surroundings and contrast them against where they used to live!
    I’m sure they do….After all elephants are supposed to have incredible memories!

  15. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    True sanctuary heals. That breathtaking view, the space, the natural setting, the other eles – truly paradise on earth. So happy they are home.

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    Susy says

    Hermoso resumen de las vivencias y progresos de Pocha y Guillermina. Cómo siempre logro imaginar las emociones de ellas al leer los detalles de sus días en el santuario. Un abrazo fuerte.

  17. REPLY
    Nora says

    Simplemente son maravillosas. Creo que hacen lo que les encanta y les hace bien. Es muy gratificante ver lo que Pocha y Guillermina han logrado, las amo ❤️

  18. REPLY
    Carol Anderson says

    They are making great progress and it is wonderful to see. I am so happy for them and for everyone that works with them.

  19. REPLY
    Sheila says

    Very awesome to see they r learning to trust the other ladies plus their wonderful exploration of the sanctuary. I think they r feeling very blessed now and the other ladies have likely told them ITS HEAVEN HERE!!

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