Today is International Friendship Day and we want to celebrate the ever-evolving relationships of the elephants here at sanctuary. Friendships are complex. They can be deep and lifelong or fleeting and seasonal. The same can be said about the relationships among the elephants at sanctuary. For instance, Maia and Guida had a bond unlike almost anything we’d ever seen, while Mara is still learning how to create connections that take into account the other individual’s needs more often. Lady is unique in that her friendships exist, but at a distance that makes her comfortable – and the other elephants respect her boundaries. Rana remains the calming presence in the group, seeming to know what the others need. Bambi is growing and learning how to harness her big energy when the situation calls for it – but also finding outlets for that energy under the right circumstances. Pocha and Guillermina are only learning how to build relationships with the girls in the herd, but as they learn more about themselves, they will connect more with the elephants who mesh well with their individual personalities. Watching the elephants evolve over the years has been rewarding for the humans here, as we see how emotions deepen and friendships change over time, all in a natural way. There’s no question that elephants have the ability to connect on a level we may never understand, but watching the process is beautiful – and we learn from it every day.
Photo of Rana, Mara, Pocha, and Bambi grazing together