Guillermina hasn’t quite settled into the idea that people might be near the habitat for reasons that don’t include food. Sometimes elephants need medical checkups, dung needs to be cleaned up, or the caregivers just drive by to make sure everyone is okay. For Guille’s whole life, the main reason people would stop by was to bring meals. Later on, when our staff was there doing quarantine training at Mendoza, those interactions also revolved around food rewards, so it makes sense that she would associate humans with snacks.
It’s not uncommon for most elephants to have this response in their first few months at sanctuary. The only difference between Guille and the other residents is that she’s 24-years old and fast. The rest of the girls tend to approach slowly, which gives caregivers plenty of time to prepare. Because of Guille’s speed, videos of her might be shorter than others because, as you can see, she manages to get close to anyone filming her rather quickly.
Here, she crosses the yard at a quick pace, starting next to Rana and meeting up with a squeaky Mara, who is leisurely grazing. Guille soon discovered there was no food to be found from the humans and went on her way, perhaps hoping for a different result next time.