Barn photos aren’t usually a favorite, but Ramba looks so pretty and soft in this photo.
Someone asked yesterday how long she will be in her crate for the journey- and we don’t have an exact answer. Ramba determines how the ground transport goes, how often we stop, and for how long. Some elephants need more breaks, others can become agitated on long stops. The other big mystery is how long the procedures at the airport will take.
There will be unloading and loading in both Chile and Brazil. And with each of those will come lots of government paperwork and official business that cannot be entirely handled beforehand. We have hired a company on each side to manage that aspect, we would be crazy not to. But even they can’t give us a time frame, it seems no one can.
The general outline looks like this- closing Ramba in the crate and then loading her onto the truck at the safari park- it takes a bit of time to get her properly seated and secured. Then it’s about a 3-hour drive to the airport in Santiago, stopping a couple of times initially to check in on her, even though we will have a camera system to watch her for the entire trip. Arrival at the airport in Chile, unloading her from the truck and loading her on a platform, strapping her crate down, and putting her onto the plane. Next is a 3-4 hour flight, with Scott and Laura (our vet) on board with Ramba, in jump seats. Landing in Brazil and reversing the unloading/loading process, removing all waste, food, and bedding from her crate (which is disposed of as biohazard) and lots more paperwork. Our Brazilian team and a different truck will be waiting at the Campinas airport. The truck will be stocked with hay, sugar cane, fresh grass, produce and water since we cannot bring any of that with us from outside of the country. Then it’s about a 2.5-day drive to the sanctuary.
It’s far from simple, but it’s the final step in bringing Ramba to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, so she can have what has been missing from her life- family, nature, and choice. Thank you to everyone for being patient and supportive through this long journey. It has taken longer than any of us ever thought possible, but she is finally almost home.
September 24, 2019