Two years ago today… That’s when Miss Mara arrived at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil and embraced her new home with seeming relief, resting her tired body for an immediate dirt-pile nap.
After creating a strong bond with Rana in those early days, she settled into sanctuary life and her spunky personality began to emerge. By the time Bambi arrived and started to understand what her own new life could be, the three friends became close – particularly Mara and Bambi. These days, Mara can call Bambi to her side with just a single squeak.
Mara’s life has not been without challenges, and she faced some tough days dealing with gastrointestinal issues during her first year at sanctuary. Over the many months since then, she has rebounded and begun to enjoy eating food enthusiastically. For quite a while, Mara preferred to take her meals in the treatment chute at the barn so she could prevent her friends, Bambi and Rana, from “sharing” her dinner. These days, the girls have an understanding: nobody gets near Mara’s food during mealtimes. She’s gained a significant amount of weight and looks healthier in every way.
Once seemingly cautious around Maia, lately Mara has begun to let Maia into her circle of friends; though Maia doesn’t often get too close to Mara, Mara has shown no issues with sharing space. This shows how much she’s grown emotionally in the last two years. Of course, she is still our cheeky girl who loves to party; Rana and Bambi are always happy to oblige and respond with trumpets and rumbles whenever they hear Mara’s distinctive squeak.
Each elephant we’ve known has taught us something about what it means to be caregivers, and how to listen and respond to their needs. Mara is sometimes a sneaky girl who has kept us on our toes – but she’s helped us learn more about emotional bonds, 24-hour nurturing, and the importance of being open with elephants each day. We look forward to each new day with her. Happy Re-Birthday, Mara!