Happy Mother’s Day to Pocha

In the wild, female elephants live in a matriarchal society and mothering can be a group effort. Pocha, however, faced the reality of motherhood alone. She carried Guillermina for 22 months and gave birth to her in the pit – with nothing and no other elephants to help. Pocha is a remarkable mother, and the fact that Guillermina is so well adjusted is a testament to her patience and her strength. Pocha has brought stability to their lives in Mendoza. 

Guillermina knows nothing of the outside of her enclosure or of other elephants. She will almost certainly need time to adjust to all of the new stimuli around her. But Pocha will have prepared her for this new life the best way possible. It is exciting to think of Guille experiencing the natural world for the first time, but we are thrilled for Pocha to witness her daughter learn things Pocha likely never thought possible; she’ll know they made it. Pocha will have new opportunities and also be able to watch her child grow and experience the natural world, which is moving to think about. We anticipate the special moments for her as much as we do for Guillermina. Happy Mother’s Day, Pocha. May there be many more to come.


  1. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    My beautiful Pocha, with her profound love for her daughter.. Praying that these days go fast and they can touch each other in the beautiful Sanctuary as soon as they arrive.. ❤️❤️

  2. REPLY
    Andrea says

    One of your most touching posts. Tears in my eyes ….

  3. REPLY
    Syd says

    Tears and chills just knowing P&G willingly got into the crates ( after your years of work!), watching as they were lifted to the truck and then proceeded down the highways with ESB and police as escort. Even looking out their windows on a real world must be amazing and daunting for the two. It is such a leap of faith for all.
    Tears only with your words to Mum Pocha. I can’t wait till they arrive safely to get taken into the loving care of you, your staff and the other five “girls”. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all you are willing to give up to offer sanctuary.

  4. REPLY
    Constance S. Harris says


  5. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Yes indeed Happy Mothers Day Pocha! She is definitely a shining example of how even though the odds were stacked against her it didn’t stop her from being the best mother possible a shining example of how her perseverance love and patience produced such a beautiful baby girl getting them through the hardest the toughest of times so here’s looking forward to many years ahead with her daughter and her new herd family! much love and big hugs 💞

  6. REPLY
    Zoi Flores says

    We’ll be so lucky to witness their transformation 💖

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    Terry says

    I can’t wait for that moment she steps out of the crate!!!!💓💓
    She and Guillie so deserve this, as do all. Thank You!

  8. REPLY
    andrea paola simonetti says

    isso tudo é muito emocionante. obrigada por proporcionar essa felicidade a estes maravilhosos seres.

  9. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Pocha is an amazing mother. Happy Mother’s Day dear lady. We send all our love to you and your baby Guille!💚

  10. REPLY
    Wim says

    Happy Mother’s Day Pocha.
    Nobody but you knows how you’ve suffered raising a child in concrete custody.

  11. REPLY
    Tracy says

    Yes Happy Mothers Day Pocha!!
    So excited for you to experience sanctuary together. ❤️

  12. REPLY
    Beji says

    This just touches my heart and soul. Happy forever after in Brazil for both of you!!

  13. REPLY
    Susan says

    So beautifully said. It is going to be an incredible journey for them moving forward and so appreciative that they have all of you and Sanctuary to call Home. ❤️🐘❤️

  14. REPLY
    JamesMichael says

    Happy Mothers’ Day, Pocha, You are one strong Woman. I love you and Guillarmina (sp?), and look forward to being with you- in spirit, at least- for many wonderful years to come.

  15. REPLY
    Julie says

    Thank you so much for this reminder of Pocha’s larger-than-life gift for mothering! I pray especially for her because it seems separation from her daughter is tough on her. Hang in there, honey. You are so loved by many, and we all wish you speedy travel!

  16. REPLY
    Rachel says

    Beautiful post yet it comes with feelings of deep sadness too. However, today is a day to be celebrated and Pocha is my inspiration. What a wonderful mama elephant day it is for sure! 🙏💝

  17. REPLY
    Anita J says

    I can’t help by think that Pocha had an awful, awful, painful life in that ZOO. She spent her whole life on that concrete. And gave birth there, all alone. That must have been so scary! She was as much a prisoner as her beautiful baby Guille. Pocha will be like a re-born creature as well in our beautiful sanctuary. She will become a student and a learner of so many things, smells and sensations. I often wonder if She will know how to dust herself, how to roll in that mud or take a nice deep dip in a pond…And somehow I know all our girls will welcome those two and will be their guardians. Slowly but surely the herd is growing…a new, larger family in a making. I can’t wait to see all those beautiful, wonderful “firsts” for both of them. Pocha will be even stronger and more loving, confident Mother to Guille – if that is possible…THANK YOU for making it all happen! Thank you…:-)))

  18. REPLY
    Sunny says

    You deserve it, Pocha 💕

  19. REPLY
    Shirley says

    Can’t wait to see them when you arrive.

  20. REPLY
    Sherry says

    That concrete home was a prison for sure, but no more! God made sure they had each other and now onward
    to their new beautiful home!

  21. REPLY
    Vicki says

    Beautiful words for Mom & her daughter.
    Following your progress with 🙏🏻🙏🏻 for safety & comfort for all –
    sending love from Phoenix Arizona USA ♥️♥️

  22. REPLY
    Richard Chiger says

    As hard as it must have been to raise her calf alone and in that pit, at least Pocha did not have to endure the pain that most captive mother elephants go through, having their calf torn from their side. Now they will be in sanctuary with a “natural” environment all around them. It is a pity that Guillermina will never know the joy of becoming a mother and Pocha, a grandmother. I know that the purpose of a sanctuary is non breeding in captivity, but I think in this kind of situation elephants could live a more normal and natural life.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      It is true that our goal is to provide them the most natural life possible. Breeding in captivity is against the tenets of our accrediting agency GFAS, so it’s certainly not something we would ever do.

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