Today marks the 4th anniversary of Lady’s arrival at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. Lady’s presence looms so large here at the sanctuary that it seems some days that she’s been here forever. She’s witnessed so much change – from the addition of new residents to the growth of the space she’s free to roam.
Lady is a truly unique being whose trauma, alongside her willingness to open up to her caregivers, does not define her. Though she chooses to spend a good portion of her time alone, she seems to know who she is and embraces the life she enjoys here at ESB. While some may think she may not interact or communicate with the other residents, it’s clear to us that she does – just in her own ways. When the others are near, she will, at times, vocalize with and toward them. And elephants “talk” in ways we’ll never be able to comprehend, so who knows what else they have to say to one another?
Over the last few months, Lady has been open to some new experiences, particularly exploring the male Asian yard, which offers her the greenery she so loves. She also spent time in the same yard as both Rana and Mara, who respected her space and seemed thoughtful in their small interactions with Lady. She’s open to these moments as long as she feels safe, which is something we all deserve.
We can never fully express our gratitude for what Lady has given us. She reminds us daily to slow down and that providing true autonomy allows someone to make choices that may not be the ones you would make. She seems to know that much of life is in the details, so she makes the most of the smallest things, like a delicious palm leaf or a dip in the pond. Her feet may make her uncomfortable, but they’re not who she is. Her desire to be seen and respected by us and by her fellow elephants provides us a lesson in self-awareness. The way Lady chooses to live her life gives us all perspective on the idea that there’s no one right way to be or to express yourself. Thank you, Lady, for the years of joy you’ve brought to so many. We’re sure that “re-birthday” wishes are being sent from all around the world.
P.S.: This week’s podcast continues Ramba’s story with the struggles of caring for an elephant long distance while struggling as a young nonprofit to raise the funds needed to build a habitat to be able to bring her to Brazil. Listen on our website or on your podcast platform of choice.