Happy One-Month Anniversary, Mara! ❤️


Today we are celebrating Mara’s one-month anniversary. In our minds, it seems impossible that it has only been one month. This is either proof that it’s time to retire, or that she fits in so perfectly that it is difficult to remember a time when she wasn’t here. In the past weeks, we have seen a lot of changes in Mara, not the least being that she gained 9,000 pounds of Rana.

We recently saw a video that had clips from the EcoParque and were struck by how visually different she is already. Overall, she looks so much brighter, and she stands more upright. She appears much more present – both mentally and physically.

When Mara was at the Ecoparque, we would see glimmers of the light that shone within. Cute, silly, and playful moments that were only a little hint of what was hiding inside. With the nurturing of an elephant best friend, wild space to explore, and freedom of choice, those little bits are now the glory of Mara. That inner spirit which was always there, yet masked for far too long, is alive and shining brilliantly every day at the sanctuary. One of the greatest gifts is to hear her squeaking and rumbling out in the habitat with Rana, knowing that random ‘normal’ moments of her day are now a cause for celebration. When we were in Buenos Aires setting up her transport crate, we observed Mara as an elephant starving for social interaction. Now, she has a friend and a friendship that defines elephant sisterhood, a gift to both that is indescribable and tragically rare in captivity.

The most significant physical change, although she is putting on a nice amount of muscle, may be her eyes. She has eyes different from any elephant we have ever known. Obviously, she had the same eyes at the park, but they were often masked and sullen. Now, they are incredibly expressive and full of life. It’s the first thing that welcomes you as you come around the corner, her gorgeous amber eyes. They are usually accompanied by her little sticky-outy ears and an occasional head tilt that is ridiculously endearing.

This is just the beginning, only the first 30 days. To see Mara, surrounded by the magic and glory of Sanctuary, and to see those radiant amber eyes, makes it difficult to imagine her past. As with all captive elephants, Mara comes with many scars and traumas masked within. Her journey, supported and embraced by Rana, will allow Mara to work through her past, to heal and grow and affect everyone and every elephant lucky enough to know her. No matter where that journey takes her, we are thrilled she has found her home at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. ❤️

June 12, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Patricia says

    I am so excited and happy !! I have been following Mara forever and seeing that she is living happy and free makes me think that not everything is lost! thanks, infinite thanks!

    • REPLY
      Wim Diepeveen says

      Miracles do happen and your newfound freedom is a beautiful story to read and watch day by day. You are a delightful creature with so many virtues Miss Mara. Thank you for sharing all your excitement with us all.

  2. REPLY
    Vicky says

    As soon as I saw the 1 month I thought the same thing-it seems like much longer. It has to have something to do with how easy Mara adjusted and is loving her life. She is exactly where she should be, enjoying her new friendship & surroundings. Every elephant looks different so soon after arriving at sanctuary-like years of sadness begin to go away. I wish that I didn’t, but I still have anger for what they have gone through, but I can’t explain the happiness seeing them at sanctuary. Happy 1 month anniversary, Ms. Mara–we love you!

  3. REPLY
    Kathy Sechler says

    So sweet to see dear Mara so happy with her new life & a best friend too! Her personality is infectiously adorable & her sqeeks delightful to hear. What a fabulous beginning for her wondrous new journey. I am so thankful you, and your many supporters, have been able to give her the gift of sanctuary life.

    • REPLY
      Elisa says

      Mara is a gift to all that know her personally and through the miracle of the internet. I loved her from the moment I saw her on global elephants Facebook post. Her growth has been amazing to witness and her deep bonding with Rana is so exciting and heartwarming to witness.

  4. REPLY
    Paula says

    ¡Feliz aniversario de un mes, Mara!
    ¡Todo lo que describen aqui es absolutamente maravilloso y prometedor!
    Mara, dulce Mara… la vida es hermosa…renaciste nena!!!
    Yo podría escribirles un libro entero sobre todo lo visto y aprendido durante este mes en su blog❤
    Scott y Kat han logrado cambiar la vida de estas elefantes, es un honor haberlos conocido.
    Les envio a ustedes mi completa admiración y amor❤

  5. REPLY
    Carol says


  6. REPLY
    Lynne Russert says

    A very happy anniversary sweet girl!!!?

    • REPLY
      Jillyp says

      Happy one month anniversary Mara ??????
      Hope you’ve had a few special treats.

      She really does seem to fit in perfectly and it’s wonderful to hear how her expressive eyes shine and greet you – it must be a wonderful joy for you to see and to know she is happy.
      I can’t imagine being in such a situation as permanent confinement with nothing to do or to look forward to and unable to do what you feel like, no experiences or good memories. Thank goodness she is free from all that and is now at home and healing at the sanctuary ?

      Your writings are wonderful, just lovely to read, thank you for all the little details you share with us.

  7. REPLY
    Alana says

    All you need is LOVE!

  8. REPLY
    Julie says

    Cute Mara you are an inspiration to make the most out of life’s opportunities! Love you all! ❤️

  9. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    She’s such a sweetheart. I love her friendship with Rana.

  10. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    Happy Anniversary Ms. Mara. So happy to see the joy you bring to Rana and vise versa. Nothing like a bonded friendship that will last forever. Your light shines brighter everyday. I love your smile and squeaks. Love all you sweet beautiful girls. Maybe y’all can celebrate with a big fat ?

  11. REPLY
    Sherry says

    I wished I lived at GSE!! I need a retreat. This pandemic has taught me who my real friends are.

  12. REPLY
    Heidi says

    I can’t believe it’s been a month! Lucky girl! And she knows it.

  13. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    What a wonderful, descriptive article. It is absolutely like watching a withering flower start to grow and bloom into this radiant, beautiful being. I would love to gaze into those beautiful eyes personally, and tell her how much she is loved and adored for overcoming her traumatic past.

  14. REPLY
    Stella Marys Ortiz Flores says

    Feliz Aniversario mes dulce Mara…!! Se feliz niña de ojos hermosos…!! Gracias GSE…infinitas gracias por lo q hacen…es un paraiso en medio de este mundo!!… muy agradecida…besos Mara… Salud!!

  15. REPLY
    Sallie Robbins-Druian says

    ?Miss Mara, Congratulations! You have calmly & gracefully made your way into The BEST sanctuary possible to suit your style! Hallelujah! Pass the watermelons! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! ???

  16. REPLY
    Gloria Del Barco says

    Feliz Aniversario Mara …muy feliz de verte en la tierra deseada durante toda tu vida. Gracias a todos los humanos que te cuidan y que te aman tanto y por eso mismo estás llena de esa alegría que sale por tu ojos , aún incrédulos de tanta inmensidad delante. Un abrazo a todos y gracias por acompañarte !!!!

  17. REPLY
    Carol Anderson says

    Well, you managed to bring tears to my eyes again with your beautiful story of Mara. You cant ask for more of a happy one month anniversary for her. And so much more to come. I hope to see the same for the poor elephants in the cement pit some day SOON.

  18. REPLY
    graciela briatore says

    Ya lo dijeron todo los que hicieron comentarios antes de mi ….Yo solamente que cuando la veo como esta tan feliz y sus ojitos brillantes y llenos de vida y haberla visto en el zoo de ecoparque tan triste, me emociono mucho mucho y se me caen lagrimas de felicidad…Gracias a todos los que lograron esto…..

  19. REPLY
    Anna says

    When I first heard about beautiful Mara being rescued, I was thrilled for her. I watched the video of her transition from arrival to walking slowly into the initial enclosure. I kept repeating thank you over and over as tears filled my eyes.
    Any time an elephant, or any animal for that matter, which has been abused or neglected is rescued and placed in a loving, safe and caring environment, I am very happy. Too many elephants are used for ‘entertainment’ or are left alone in small concrete enclosures for years. It’s so wrong. #animalsdeserveloveandrespect

  20. REPLY
    Marcela says

    Feliz cumple mes para mi adorada Mara!!! Parece más tiempo.Sigo sus publicaciones y me encanta ver como los elefantes disfrutan de ese maravilloso lugar y de lo bien que son cuidados. Un equipo maravilloso al servicio de estos seres adorables .

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