Someone asked in the last post if Guida was the leader. With her and Maia there is a lot of give and take. There isn’t a matriarch with just the two of them, although Guida definitely has the makings of one. In captivity the dominant female is often referred to as the matriarch, but a true matriarch doesn’t rule with physical dominance, she is the peace keeper, the influencer, the wiser elephant who knows how to lead the herd in a healthy way.
Guida is definitely our wise and grounded girl. Initially we weren’t sure if she was going to be an elephant who wanted to spend most of her time with a herd, or who preferred a bit more alone time. She has a wandering spirit. But the more she has grown, the more time she likes to spend in Maia’s company.
Every individual who comes into the herd will shift dynamics with their personality, strengths and struggles. It’s impossible at this point to say if Guida will embrace her ability to teach lessons with her incomparable serenity. She may instead just enjoy the role of being a big sister. Only time, and more elephants, will tell.