Guillermina, Pocha, and the Pond

Since their first tentative explorations of Yard 4, Pocha and Guillermina have begun to go deeper into the habitat, with increasing curiosity. Yesterday, the two walked about halfway from the barn to the pond; Scott, keeping an eye on them from a distance, expected the girls to turn back. They did for a moment, but then turned to head out again, this time deciding to keep moving further into the habitat.

All of a sudden, Guillermina caught sight of the pond for the first time, and perhaps it was love at first sight, because she made a sharp right turn toward the water – not taking her speed into account. She slid down the muddy embankment and right into the pond. Pocha took a slower approach, but also splashed into the water with enthusiasm. It was interesting to see Guille in the lead when it came to entering the pond, because she’s been the more hesitant of the two to play in the mud and water.

The two got into and out of the water several times. You can see here that Guillermina takes great joy in splashing with her trunk, delighted at the movement of the water. Pocha eventually decided to submerge all the way under the water, while Guille remained slightly more tentative. This was probably the most playful we’ve seen either elephant since they arrived; their energy was light and Pocha seemed super smiley for the rest of the day. The girls spent most of the afternoon in and around the pond, before heading back to the barn. Another day at sanctuary, another first for Pocha and Guillermina. 


  1. REPLY
    Christine Curtis says

    Love this!! It’s awesome to see them enjoying themselves ♥️

  2. REPLY
    Pam says

    I love that Guillermina was so excited that she dropped the trunkful of hay she was carrying! Must have been carrying it since they left the barn area? So great to see them both enjoying the swim, especially knowing that it was never even an option in their lives before coming to sanctuary. Can only imagine how Pocha must have felt as she immersed herself for the first time … Keep on smiling, beautiful girl. Even more good things to come. Thank you for capturing and sharing these “first time” moments with us!

  3. REPLY
    Polly says

    Can elephants swim? What if Guille had dashed in as she did, and found it to be very deep?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Elephants absolutely can swim and many of them love it. I can’t say for sure how Guille would have reacted, but the ponds are not so deep that she couldn’t reach the top – plus they breathe through their trunks, which act as snorkels of sorts.

  4. REPLY
    Julie says

    We’re witnessing Ellie-heaven on earth! So exciting to see P&G discover their glorious sanctuary on their own terms!

  5. REPLY
    June Ross says

    My heart sings yet again and again!

  6. REPLY
    Patricia Aguilar says

    This is happening so fast! Brave, brave elephants, adventurous, full of wonder and joy. It’s like they’ve been on another planet and have just returned to earth.

  7. REPLY
    Barb Campbell says

    Super happy for these two girls and their life now 💗💗

  8. REPLY
    John says

    OH MY GOD !!!!!! The pond!!!!! 🐘🐘

  9. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Splish Splash I was takin a bath…..Good for them that was very cute especially sliding right on into the pond it never gets old watching these two ladies find new things to amuse themselves with! Thank you for sharing this it truly brightened up my day it made me giggle big time! 💞

  10. REPLY
    Patricia Hunt says

    A dream come true! They are beautiful and brilliant. Pocha and Guille, you own my heart. 😘😘😘

  11. REPLY
    Rachel says

    What a lovely video of the girls finally being able to enjoy the luxuries and joy the pond brings. Couldn’t stop staring and smiling. Will definitely watch this video again and again…💝

  12. REPLY
    Eileen L. says

    Such joy!

  13. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman-Eaton says

    OH MY GOODNESS!! I could not believe my eyes when Guille took off and went into that water! Then when she started playing like a new toddler swishing her trunk in the water with joy! Pocha sinking into the water like a natural? This was soooooo wonderful to witness. A absolutely great video. Love these two brave girls.

  14. REPLY
    Susan Flewelling says

    They are so brave!!

  15. REPLY
    Beci says

    They are like, Oh my gosh this is the best thing ever. Squealing with happiness. It thrills me to see them so happy and seeing their discoveries for the first time. It must be like a human in prison for most of their lives then has a child and that child knows nothing else, then they are released to real life. Ty for sharing

  16. REPLY
    Alana says

    Pond blobs in the making. They do look so happy with their newly found pond & learning what they can do with it.

  17. REPLY
    Patricia Richardson says

    Wow! The best! My eyes are full of tears of joy for them!!!!

  18. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    Awesome!!! They sense there are lots of treasures hidden in tbe area 😀

  19. REPLY
    Jillyp says

    What absolute joy for them; this is what sanctuary is all about
    How wonderful to ‘come across’ the pool and spend as long as you want in it. It’s wonderful to see them, thank you for the update 🙌🏼🙌🏼

  20. REPLY
    Melinda says

    I feel so much joy watching those two find THE POND! My husband and I have been waiting for this day since they arrived at sanctuary, and finally the day has come! Wishing P&G many more lovely splashes and fun in their newly discovered water park!

  21. REPLY
    Marcia says

    Oh, this is Heaven to watch! So thankful you were able to catch our girls on video embracing the wonders of water!

  22. REPLY
    Beji says

    Oh lord, that must feel wonderful…

  23. REPLY
    Tessa Dowell says

    That is one of the most heart-warming, beautiful things I’ve ever seen. My heart is full watching these two experiencing life as it should be ❤️

  24. REPLY
    Kayle says

    This was one of the most emotional videos for me since they arrived. Thank you so much.

  25. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    It make my heart sing for them. They recognise everything they never had.

  26. REPLY
    Angie in Ontario Canada says

    This video and the commentary made my day ! I can just barely imagine how these two’s inner ele instincts came rushing over them, letting them taste and feel the magic of “pond”. I have goosebumps! Happy rumbles from me and dad (97 this year!).

  27. REPLY
    Christine J Strickling says

    My favorite video yet!

  28. REPLY
    Zoi Flores says

    Yoo-hoo!!!!! I’ve been dreaming of this!!! Guille so fancy with hay extensions 😄

  29. REPLY
    Sheila says


  30. REPLY
    Deb says

    I am so very happy for the girls 🎉🎊. Thanks to all of you at ESB 💖💖

  31. REPLY
    Michael Sultana says

    This is all new as there was no pond in the moat ….

  32. REPLY
    Elizabeth says

    So cool!! Guillermina with that silly hay ornament dangling off her face. At first I was thinking “oh no, she dropped her hay and kicked it into the water”. Then I remembered she needed to loose some weight anyway. I see what Scott meant about Guillermina corralling her mother. She did that to get Pocha back into the water. Pocha tried to go in slower at first, but it turned into a slip and dive once she hit the soft bottom. I was wondering where the other girls were and surprised they were not at the pond?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      The other girls were in another part of Yard 4, but had access to the pond if they wanted to stop by.

  33. REPLY
    Wim says

    Right mum, this is a wonderful classy resort. They even got a real swimming pool.
    It’s much better than Paradise Island.

  34. REPLY
    Katherine says

    How great is this! they’ll be water babes for sure now . Is that speaking from Pocha? You are doing great work

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      It’s actually Guillermina making the noises. They’re very charming. And thank you for your kind words.

  35. REPLY
    Carolyn Stearns says

    This was a delight to see! I have been waiting for the day the discovered the joy of a dip in the pond!!

  36. REPLY
    Mary says

    I am so happy to be able to witness this joyful and new experience. Thank you for all that you do.

  37. REPLY
    Lynne Russert says

    It just warms my heart when I see them find & explore new things. So beautiful to watch!!

  38. REPLY
    Nancy says

    It’s like watching 2 kids at a water park for the first time. They don’t know what to do first!

  39. REPLY
    Kitty says

    They so deserve this! How wonderful it would be if all elephants could enjoy a life free from harm.

  40. REPLY
    Sue says

    So happy for them!!!! It must feel so wonderful 🥰 Thank you for sharing this incredible moment with us.❤️🐘❤️

  41. REPLY
    Terry says


  42. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Silly girls like they say girls just want to have fun

  43. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    also question any information about when the other Elephant will be coming

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We can’t provide information on timelines, because we simply don’t have it. There are too many variables in place to make a responsible estimate. We’re doing our best to transport all elephants possible. Our goal is to get them to sanctuary.

  44. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Pure bliss! Sanctuary truly heals. 💚

  45. REPLY
    Anita J says

    The MOST AWAITED event!! THE POND!! It almost looked like a religious ceremony, especially for Pocha – full Baptism by the healing waters of Sanctuary! I watched in awe and re watched dozens of times….that peace and tranquillity, a buzzing insect cut short, even birds were silent for a moment. It is like everything quieted down a bit more, to make it so special for this moment….so we can hear splashing of waters and gentle squeaks of our girls…:-)))….unforgettable footage…one to treasure for sure….THANK YOU!! xoxoxox

  46. REPLY
    Pat says

    Just like little kids, how sweet to watch them get so excited, Guille, running into the pond, what happiness! Thank you for sharing these precious moments.

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