Happy Re-Birthday to Rana!

Watching some of the Facebook memories that have popped up this week, of Rana at the hotel, and how many times Scott used the word ‘perfect’ when talking about her, I should have seen the writing on the wall: She had a piece of his heart from day one. That isn’t unusual, but she was determined to occupy much more space than that.

When Rana arrived, she didn’t seem to grasp the depth of emotional aspects of elephants. She wasn’t completely closed off, as some elephants can be; she was open and willing to let others in, but what she was offering was not like anything we’d seen before – it was all very superficial. Scott and I had numerous conversations about her because her behavior didn’t seem to be a typical response we sometimes see to being alone for so many decades. It almost seemed like a naivety or aloofness to things, but not necessarily as an obvious defense mechanism. We are very aware that elephants aren’t truly who they are when they arrive, and that discovery is part of sanctuary, but who she was felt conflicting from the onset.

Rana being pushed to the outskirts of Maia and Guida’s relationship began an introspection in Rana that initiated a significant shift in who she is now. We discussed it being hard for supporters to watch in the moment, but that there is more to being a herd member than spending time with other elephants, and this was a lesson it seemed she had to learn. And, as we all know now, it’s a lesson that will forever be in the core of her being. Whatever she went through emotionally was transformational in a way that only she understands.

Putting the needs of others before her own, stepping back and giving space or supporting another herd member emotionally or physically when needed – Rana is the sister of all sisters. She seems to sense when someone is in need and tries her best to be whatever that is. We joke with her that even though she may be in her 70s, she has to live forever, for the benefit of all of those who come after her. She really is ‘perfect.’

So on this day, we celebrate the metamorphosis that Rana has gone through since her arrival at sanctuary. Although the lessons aren’t always easy in the moment, the results are profound. And we say it often: we, both the elephants and the humans, are beyond lucky to have her here with us. Happy Re-birthday Rana. May you have many, many, many more. 

–  Kat

Video of Rana enjoying some of her favorite snacks


  1. REPLY
    Carol says

    All our love and admiration to you, Rana…you are most definitely a superb being.


  2. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Happy Happy ReBirthday Rana Bug 🥳 She sure doesnt show her age she really looks great and yes perfect in every way. Wishing you sweet beautiful Rana many many more joyous birthdays ahead you’ve finally found home with a fantastic family who love and adore you just like we do! 😙 🐘 🤗

  3. REPLY
    Zoi says

    Absolutely! My perfect Rana has to live forever!! i was heartbroken when i knew she had been pushed out from Maia and Guida side, that made me adopted her, my Rana Bug was the first from a herd I have now 🤗

  4. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Perfect, indeed! Much love to Miss Rana and to you all. I see her as the “glue” for the Sanctuary – holding it all together. So glad she discovered how to be who she really is! ❤️🤗🐘❤️

  5. REPLY
    Alana says

    Happy, Happy re-birthday Rana! Yes you are one special girl. Please re-post the squeaks clip. So cute!

  6. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    Rana, I have mo words to express how much I love you ❤️ The pains you went thru just made you more and more adorable.. Enjoy msny more years if freefom sweetie ❤️❤️😍😍 🍉 🍉🍉

  7. REPLY
    Wim says

    Happy Re-Birthday Rana.
    When an angel meets an elephant there’s bound to be magic in the air. You truly are phenomenal!

  8. REPLY
    Rachel says

    Love you Rana!! What a beautiful spirit you have sweet girl. Enjoy the treats and wishing you many, many more re-birthdays at the sanctuary! 💝

  9. REPLY
    Beji says

    A perfect Birthday for a perfect girl. Enjoy!!

  10. REPLY
    Vicky says

    Happy Re-Birthday, sweet Rana. You captured my heart from day one, also-there was just something about you. I can’t believe that it has been 3 years-I remember feeling bad for you with Maia & Guida as you were trying so hard to be their friend. But you did learn how to communicate & you have become the sister to all at sanctuary. You will always be my special one-I am celebrating you today, sweet girl!

  11. REPLY
    Cathe Cracknell says

    Happy happy birthday Rana!!! Hope your day was lots of fun…filled with love and lots of kisses! ❤❤

  12. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Happy rebirthday sweetheart! We love you Rana!💚

  13. REPLY
    JamesMichael says

    Happy -Happy Re-Birthday sweet lady – may every day, every aspect of Sanctuary life be testament to your quiet inner strength, your energetic ‘joie de vivre’, and your subtle demeaner toward your fellow Elephants. Happy Re-Birthday, Sweet Rana.

  14. REPLY
    Sallie says

    HAPPY RE-BIRTHDAY, ADORABLE & SWEET SWEET, MISS RANA! Hope your Birthday was WONDERFUL & full of fun and special treats! Get that tummy adjusted, as Santa Claus is around the corner ready to deliver scrumptious yummies! LOVE YOU TO BITS!

  15. REPLY
    Sandi Paquet says

    Happy re-Birthday Rana! She’s so sweet; she’s like the earth mother to the elephants. I love her stiff leg, she’s so beautiful. Thanks for this little insight into her character. I wish that she was 30 years younger, but then she wouldn’t have the wisdom she does today. Enjoy your treats Rana, you deserve all of them.

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