In Memory of Pocha

It is with heavy hearts that we announce this morning that Pocha passed away last evening. While we don’t yet know the cause of death, a necropsy will be done shortly to help us determine what happened – though we may not have results right away. 

While Pocha was in Mendoza we did, on occasion, see small signs that made us worry that she had underlying health issues, but nothing was ever diagnosed. When she and Guillermina arrived here at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, she had had an instance where she became tired and was a little slower to eat but, after a multivitamin shot, she improved. A few days ago, we noticed that she was picky with her hay, though she was still grazing and enjoying all of the produce that she was given. After a vitamin shot last night, she looked brighter and, though still tired, had more light in her eyes. However, when we returned to check on her later in the evening, we found that she had passed. 

Guillermina, who was sharing the yards near the barn with her mother, gave long rumbles to call her friends – and you could hear them rumbling back to her. Once we opened the gates for the other girls to enter, Bambi, Mara, and Rana were there waiting to be with Guille. Rana walked over to Pocha with Guillermina for a few minutes and then went back to the others. Next, Bambi walked over, but stayed at a distance, somewhat wide-eyed and looking concerned. After Bambi returned to the other girls, Mara came and stayed with Guille and Pocha. After that, one by one, the other girls returned, this time Bambi backing up to Pocha, smelling her and caressing her face. Just after midnight, they all stood on different sides of Pocha, quiet and relaxed, having one of those elephant moments that only they understand. A little before 4 am, Maia also came to be with Guillermina. 

Each girl stood nearby, some longer than others, and observed Pocha’s body with respect. Elephants have an innate ability to communicate with each other in ways we will never understand and that’s what appeared to be happening among this group of herd mates. With all of our years working with elephants, we have never seen this level of herd support given to another during a passing. Their support is proving much more familial in nature than we have witnessed at sanctuary in the past and, although sad, there is also something incredibly beautiful about what is taking place. 

As she is coming to understand what has happened to Pocha, Guillermina has been very gentle with her mother. She touches her and smells her and caresses her with her trunk, seeming to sense that her mother is no longer of this earth. While Guille didn’t stand completely over her mother’s body (which elephants sometimes do), she did very gently maneuver her feet over Pocha’s front legs and stayed there for a while. 

Though this is a difficult time and it can be hard to process such a loss, we have gratitude toward Pocha for the love and stability she was able to provide to Guillermina for 24 years. Once the two were at sanctuary, she was able to see her daughter experience true joy and begin to build relationships with other elephants – something that might have only been a dream for Pocha. There were moments when you could see Pocha watching Guille with the other elephants, and she had the brightest look on her face. We also hold a great sense of relief that both made the journey to sanctuary before Pocha’s passing, so that Guillermina is not processing her grief alone; she now has other elephants to turn to. Perhaps Pocha had a sense that her time at sanctuary was short and encouraged Guille to branch out, enjoy life with friends, explore nature, and truly discover what life as an elephant is meant to be. In a few short months, she was able to remember that the world was more than just a concrete wall in front of her. In actuality, life could be big and beautiful and filled with opportunity – and she was also able to give that big life to her daughter with love and a sense of immense pride. 

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and memories of Pocha here:


  1. REPLY
    Ruth Ann Hanlin says

    Thank you for keeping us informed. I am so happy that all of these amazing creatures are being loved and cared for there at the Sanctuary for Elephants. My sincere thanks for all you are doing!

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    Pam Knaggs says

    Oh no! I just saw the video yesterday of them playing in the rain. I am devastated. Although I’m heartbroken, my grief here in Arkansas cannot compare to yours, the ones who have established relationships with these beautiful beings. Please console each other and know that we are all with you and love and respect you all.

  3. REPLY
    Alicia Silvestri says

    Thank you for taking such wonderful care of Pocha and for this beautiful tribute.

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    Thyra says

    Oh my goodness, I am just weeping with sadness.. you all must be just broken.. yes this is a natural thing and thank heaven she was able to pass in a lovely location- knowing her daughter would find support from other elles… sometimes I think they are hanging on for just those reasons.. oh man.. I am so so so so so so sorry 🙁

  5. REPLY
    Raven Black says

    Oh no! How terribly sad! 💔
    Only comfort is knowing that she lived her final days free and loved.
    She got to meet the ladies and spend time with her daughter in a beautiful place.
    She will be missed! But I am sure Ramba and Guida have welcomed her over that rainbow bridge where she will continue to be a free and happy elephant.
    Rest in peace Mumma P. xxx

  6. REPLY
    Marilyn says

    This is so heartbreaking. But I’m so happy that Pocha had the chance to experience life at the Sanctuary, even for only a few months.

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    Lois Steinberg says

    We are crushed. We can only be content to know that Pocha experienced freedom before her untimely death. She also experienced this joy for her daughter. She lives on in our memories the world over. I go cry now.

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    Madeleine Hackett says

    Just heartbroken to be honest . But so relieved Guille has the other girls .
    I’m so sorry

  9. REPLY
    Kimberly Summitt says

    Well, oh my goodness, such beautiful ways elephants show compassion. I am so very happy we could all witness their new found freedom. Guille has her family for suppor. Even tho sad, it’s beautiful to see the growth. Sending warm thoughts prayers and love to all at GES … xo

  10. REPLY
    Karen Bonadio says

    RIP dear Pocha. You were an incredible Mother to your daughter Guille . For 24 years, you had the wonderful opportunity to raise her into the beautiful elephant that she is today, which is rare for elephants in captivity. While the reasons Pocha had to leave this Earth are not certain, she waited until she saw her daughter acclimate beautifully to sanctuary life and welcoming her new elephant family into her life.
    Pocha was an incredible elephant, and Guille would add, such a Mother to Love!

  11. REPLY
    Patricia Bamford says

    Oh no I’m heart broken just like Ramba she had so little time to enjoy her new found freedom.
    This is my first experience of loss of one of my babies as I wasn’t a guardian when Ramba and Guida were at sanctuary so it’s so hard I can’t stop the tears.
    Poor darling Guille she will be so sad and how thankful I am she has her new family to comfort her, and Scott, Kat and all your helpers will be devastated, my heart goes out to you all, you have lost one of your precious girls.
    This hurts so much I can write no more.

  12. REPLY
    Greg says

    I am so sorry and shocked to hear of Pocha’s passing. My heart aches for Guillermina and the rest of the elephants and for everyone who lives with and cares for the elephants. I can only imagine what a difficult time this is for everyone. But you can all take comfort in knowing that you gave her the best few months of her long life and you will continue to do so for her legacy Guille and the rest of the herd. May Pocha rest in peace as she was an angel on earth! 🙁

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    Susan says

    So very sad to hear of sweet Pocha’s passing. I am truly thankful that, like Ramba, she had some time to experience Sanctuary and to make friends, and that she passed there and not where she was previously. She was so strong, teaching and caring for Guille in the most unimagineable situation, and I truly believe she hung on long enough to help Guille get situated at Sanctuary. My heart is broken. Thank you for doing all you did to help her to Sanctuary and to experience a loving environment, even for a short time, . With love and support, ❤️🐘❤️

  14. REPLY
    Christine Curtis says

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. And yet I feel a loss as well. Even though I’m across the wold away. The way you talk about all these elephants I feel close to every one of them. As I sit here wiping tears from my eyes I can’t find the proper words. But thank you all so much for taking such wonderful care of these gorgeous creatures and writing in such a way that truly has touched my heart. My prayers are with Guillermina that she will overcome the grief that I’m sure she’s feeling. And prayers for all of you!

  15. REPLY
    Lucinda (Cindy) Harwin says

    Well done Pocha! Preparing your daughter for her continued journey. God speed madam♥️😢

  16. REPLY
    Rachel says

    Heartbreaking news. Pocha was an incredible mother, a lovely soul who did what she could for Guille in the midst of terrible confinement. I enjoyed watching her blossom, finally able to enjoy the peace and joy that sanctuary freely gives. I’m also relieved that she was able to witness Guile’s friendships and overall development in her new home – I can’t imagine what mama was thinking. Enjoy the beauty of heaven dear Pocha. Guille will be well taken care of until you’re united again. Much love and hugs to all the eles and staff during this difficult time. 💝

  17. REPLY
    Cassie Raymond says

    I’m absolutely stunned! How very sad. I can’t imagine how all of you feel. I am glad Pocha spent the last weeks of her life in your care, in sanctuary. I’m sure she passed peacefully, but it’s still so sad. I wish she’d had more time in sanctuary. Thank you for all you do for these beautiful beings.

  18. REPLY
    Jillyp says

    😭💔 Oh such sad news, you must all be devastated.
    Dear Pocha, what a fantastic mother. Thank goodness for you bringing them to sanctuary when you did so, like you say, Guille has a herd around her and is not alone in her grief.
    🌈🕊RIP dear sweet, beautiful Pocha, so glad you had the freedom of sanctuary, silly mud wallows and time with sisters before your passing. Thank you Global Elephants for everything you did for her 😔 Love you always Pocha 💙🐘

  19. REPLY
    Clare Cameron says

    Just devastating, I’m so sorry that Pocha has passed, but I am so grateful for the freedom you gave her for a few months. My thoughts went to the images of her stretching out of her crate on first arrival to reach the food you were trying to coax her out with. Sending you all much love xxx

  20. REPLY
    Karen Bonadio says

    RIP dear Pocha! You were an incredible Elephant , Mother, sentient being.
    Living in an environment in Argentina that was bleak & isolated, for 24 years you provided your all in raising your daughter Guille. Once arriving to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, you were able to see your daughter experience life as it always should have been. Your Dream came true!
    Whatever the reason you had to leave this Earth, you waited until you knew Guille would be OK in her lush new environment at GSE Brazil. You were a Mother for the ages. And Guille would tell you, a Mother to Love.

  21. REPLY
    Amy Bessen says

    I’m so saddened to hear this. I’m so glad she and Guiile had time together at Sanctuary and she enjoyed freedom, even for a few months. And Guille isn’t alone. So grateful you were able to get this accomplished!

  22. REPLY
    Audrey says

    I am truly in tears hearing of Pocha’s passing. The best thing in her life was that she was with her daughter & she was free at your Sanctuary for Elephants.
    Her last months were of being with Guillermina and enjoying her time, making a new family with all the other girls, 😢
    R.I.P. Pocha 🌈 🐘

  23. REPLY
    Wanda V. Trotta says

    I’m so very sorry! You will see her again.

  24. REPLY
    Debbie Suarez says

    So sorry to hear this..She is at peace knowing her daughter is free from concrete prison and able to enjoy sanctuary life..The girls will look after her. Love and prayers for all

  25. REPLY
    Mary says

    I am hurting deep inside my soul for the girls, for everyone at the Sanctuary, and for myself. Yesterday’s video about Pocha and the girls in the rain was so joyous that I watched it several times. This news today is almost incomprehensible.

  26. REPLY
    Carole Kramer says

    Stunned at this sad loss of Pocha. Yet so grateful she was able to enjoy the freedom and delights of sanctuary, and to see her daughter on to a better life among other elephants. She must have felt safe to pass on knowing Guille was going to be just fine now. Sending deep condolences and gratitude to all at Global Sanctuary for Elephants Brazil. 🐘💔

  27. REPLY
    Carol says

    This is devastating for the girls and all of us humans. What a shock to see the title subject of this email. I initially shed some tears of mourning and loss but, then, I realized that every cloud has a silver lining and that, as you said, thank goodness for the timing. She may have finally let go because she felt her daughter would be well taken care of and would have a new extended family of her own. She will have a blessed life. Hopefully, you will determine what her issue(s) we’re so you can follow Guille more closely. Hopefully, her weight problem is resolving gradually in her new home with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet. Anyway, my sincere condolences and prayers to all of you beautiful souls. 💖💖💖💖💖

  28. REPLY
    Andy Ingram says

    Saddened to hear this news about Pocha. However, she did experience freedom with her daughter, who I hope manages her grief sooner than later. I also wonder about the other Eles, especially Maia.

  29. REPLY
    Deb says

    This is the saddest I’ve been in a loooooong time.
    The only thing I can say is angels like you guys let her see what Heaven on earth is like & may she rest peacefully knowing her daughter is safe & happy with you & the girls.

  30. REPLY
    Laura says

    This is heartbreaking. It should be great comfort Pocha and Guille were at Sanctuary when she passed. May Pocha’s memory be a blessing.

  31. REPLY
    Linda says

    So thankful that they made it to Sanctuary so Pocha would have support and ‘family’ to help her grieve. I can’t imagine how awful it would be if she was alone at the zoo. One wonders if Pocha had been close to this for some time but holding back as hard as she could because her daughter had only her. Now that she saw Giulle had others, an extended family, she maybe felt much better with finally letting go. I’m sure she will still always be there with them, and now she gets to meet and ‘travel’ with the wonderful girls who made this journey ahead of her…. Pocha is in very, very good hands 🙂

  32. REPLY
    Juan says

    It feels like the loss of a family member.
    Thank you for providing her sanctuary for her last months of living.

  33. REPLY
    Karen says

    I just saw this, started to cry, but realize that Pocha probably knew her time was short and must have been so happy to finally be safe, and her daughter safe and in friendly hands and trunks.

  34. REPLY
    Melinda says

    There are no adequate words with which I can express my shock and grief over Pocha’s passing. I’m so very worried about G’s ability to recover from this sorrow. I can only thank God that she has been in GSE long enough to establish a solid support system, such as only elephants are capable. I have to stop as I am crying too much to continue.

  35. REPLY
    Liliana says

    Hermosa Pocha. Dios y muchas personas buenas te dieron la oportunidad de conocer la vida digna que nunca deberías haber perdido. Por unos meses pudiste ver que hay árboles, pasto y hermosos paisajes más allá de un muro de cemento. Te fuiste de este plano con la satisfacción de que tu hija Guille está libre de la esclavitud y la explotación. Partiste tranquila y en paz con la vida a pesar de los años de encierro que soportaste en el zoo de Mendoza. Te reencontrarás con tu querido papá humano Guillermo y seguramente volverás a demostrarle tu amor incondicional y tu emoción barritando y haciendo tus “gracias”… Él te regalará naranjas, manzanas y merengues como lo hacía hace tantos años. Buen viaje, bella y amorosa Pocha!

  36. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    Pocha, your love for Guille was so strong.. You were able to wait for your beloved daughter to have a family do you could leave this world.. You were serene knowing you could go, you Guille was in good hands with a family to lean on. Thank you, Pocha, you did a wonderful job raising Guille ❤️❤️💚❤️❤️

  37. REPLY
    Peggy Quentin says

    Saudade da Pocha. I am so sorry for your loss, for our loss. She’ll be remembered always.

  38. REPLY
    Rebecca says

    😭 i find it interesting I am very sad about an elephant I never met. But you all shared so much with us from the time you were bringing them to the sanctuary that I do feel close. My sympathies to all of you who did so much to bring her to a place where she could live her last months like a elephant should live. Thank you for all you all do. 😒🙏🏻💔

  39. REPLY
    Bonnie Kraft says

    I send heartfelt condolences to all of you caregivers who so lovingly got Pocha to GSE to spend her last days in a safe place!

  40. REPLY
    Pam says

    So sorry to have lost Pocha so soon. She was a caring Momma. Perhaps she knew her days were numbered and lasted as long as she could to see her and Guille delivered to sanctuary. My fondest memory of her will be joyfully breaking the water pipe as we waited for what seemed like an eternity for her to come out of her container when they arrived.

  41. REPLY
    Katherine says

    Pocha was a wonderful mother. Simply the best

  42. REPLY
    Rocío Aquino says

    Sin palabras 💔😔 es demasiado triste. E injusto, ella merecía más tiempo en el santuario donde por fin era libre después de una vida de miseria 😢
    Gracias por liberarla y cuidarla durante estos meses.

  43. REPLY
    Sara Dollins says

    RIP beautiful soul x thank you all at sanctuary Brazil for taking such good care of her 💕she will be missed and not forgotten 🌸🌺🌸

  44. REPLY
    Joan says

    As a recipient currently of Hospice care who has followed Sanctuary since Bambi’s arrival, I have experienced joy as Pocha & Guille have experienced their new found freedoms. Your description of the herd’s eactions has touched me deeply . Humans have much to learn from our fellow animals. My heart goes out to Guille that she will find comfort & compassion over the long term from the other’s.

  45. REPLY
    Nancy HartGold says

    Thoughts are what others have shared, I’m actually crying tears. It gave me so much joy to watch Pocha and Gulli and think about how wondrous their lives are now. I wish Pocha had more time to enjoy sanctuary life. My heart goes out to G I hope she will be okay. Mostly to all of you who loved her so.

  46. REPLY
    Elle Zinn says

    It was so painful to hear that Pocha left us. Rest in Peace. I hope to meet you one day in heaven.

  47. REPLY
    Julie says

    Inconsolable. Oh dear, sweet, Mama Pocha! Thank you, God, for allowing her this short time in sanctuary. What a blessing!

  48. REPLY
    Wim says

    R.l.P. Dearest Pocha. 🙏🕯💔😭
    Your road must have been hard and stressful.
    Thank you for the short time you’ve brighten up our lives. Much strength and courage to Guille hopefully the girls will help her carry this unbearable load. May elephant magic reign in the sanctuary.

  49. REPLY
    Julie says

    Dear Pocha, I have never known of a mother of any species more brave and dedicated and beautiful as you. With sincerest love, I thank you so much for taking such good care of your Guillermina. Please say hello to all of our friends who have passed, Guida and Shirley included. Love you, dear, sweet, Mama Pocha.

  50. REPLY
    Vicki V Bowen says

    I’m in shock, I think. Am so very saddened by this news of Pocha’s passing. I know this must be particularly difficult for All who were so close to her. I’m sitting in my car just weeping. But she knew Freedom and Joy in sanctuary! And Love from other Elephants. I Loved her.
    Godspeed, Pocha

  51. REPLY
    John says

    Thank you for the wonderful, amazing description of how all the elephants responded to her passing. So beautiful. Sincere condolences to all there.

  52. REPLY
    Elizabeth says

    Oh no! I am heartbroken.

    My favorite image of Pocha, is the still shot at the beginning of the video from 9-27-22 titled “Pocha and Her Watermelon”. She looks so pleased and excited to have a surprise watermelon gift.

  53. REPLY
    Nancy Crider says

    I’m heart broken, Dear, sweet, beautiful Pocha … a wise and devoted mother. Her strength and spirit live on in Guille, the daughter she so lovingly guided and cared for through years of unspeakable hardship. Thanks to all at the Sanctuary for giving her the peaceful, comforting life she was deprived of for so many years.

  54. REPLY
    Adriana Martino says

    Qué tristeza que Pocha partiera tan pronto. Estará disfrutando del cielo de los elefantes junto a Ramba, Guida y Pelusa. Es un alivio saber que disfrutó tanto de su estancia en el Santuario y que vio florecer a su querida Guille. Les mando un abrazo fuerte a todos los que día a día trabajan incansablemente por el bienestar de las chicas. Comprendo su pérdida y los acompaño.

  55. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    Oh my. I read this beginning about Pocha passing, read it again and began to cry with sadness for Guille, her herd mates, caregivers and for her extended GSE family. The true essence of a caring mother, Pocha was able to realize a dream I’m sure she had for her daughter to experience freedom from behind rock walls. For that I am so very thankful , and grateful to GSE. R.I.P. Dear Pocha. ❤️🐘

  56. REPLY
    Viviana Gallo says

    Por Dios, que noticia tan triste!! ESTOY DESOLADA, MUY TRISTE!! Ayer las vi jugar en el barro, en la lluvia, tan felices. Qué triste, pobre Pocha, tan poquito tiempo disfrutó la libertad… debe haber sido todo muy abrumador para su corazón… La quise tanto!! Fue una gran mamá al criar a Guillermina en ese pozo inmundo, dejando de lado sus necesidades por el bien de su hija. Hasta último momento acompañó a Guille al santuario para que tenga una familia y no dejarla sola ante su partida. Por Dios, no paro de llorar!! Dios te bendiga mi amada Pocha.

  57. REPLY
    Dr. Jim Bonura says


  58. REPLY
    Debbie Coulsey says

    Think of how many are thinking of Pocha because you brought attention to her life and saved her & her daughter. So many of us have tears for this elephant. I’m pretty sure most are stunned.
    Yet, I keep thinking one thing over & over. Remember in the beginning when Pocha would take off a bit & ” G ” would call for her? She was doing it all the time. I even commented once that finally she could get some me time,! Now, I wonder…did she know she wasn’t feeling good? Was she trying to prepare her? Did she want her to make friends so she would be okay? Honestly we are learning more & more just how intelligent these elephants are. We know they are self aware, so why wouldn’t a mother want to help her child? I think many have been amazed at how quickly they joined the herd, and Pocha LET the herd teach G. I think Pocha did an amazing job and is at peace finally 💞💕🐘🐘💞💕

  59. REPLY
    Cathe Cracknell says

    I am so so sorry to hear about our lovely Pocha. She was such a strong mom to Guille. At least, she was able to feel freedom, as short as it was. You left a mark in all of us who loved you Pocha.

  60. REPLY
    Fatima zeevat says

    I cannot express in words. I just have tears at the moment. I hope that Guille get this.
    Love and peace for everyone.

  61. REPLY
    Robin Kern says

    Oh no!!!This is heart-breaking news. But I am so glad that the last few months of her life were at ESB, where she was cherished and allowed to be herself. And that Guille has aunties to go on with.

  62. REPLY
    Bernadette Rey says

    RIP in peace Pocha. So very pleased she had these last few months with her friends around her

  63. REPLY
    Dawn says

    Reading Pocha’s tribute has my emotions all over the place,,,,, I’m SO happy she had gotten to see beauty for the 1st time,,, watching her beloved G thrive into a teenager!! Oh and her watermelons!!!!! I watched their journey from the beginning and became SO attached immediately. I felt like a protector Auntie from Philly!! Such a gentle Mama. My condolences sent. Reading how the Ladies can together is heartfelt. Love sent to you ALL. ❣️

  64. REPLY
    Monica says

    I am heartbroken 💔 But at the same time I am happy she had the chance to live the life she always deserved during the last few months. I just wish it was a little longer. I am glad that Guille will have the support from the other girls during this difficult time!

  65. REPLY
    Florencia says

    Un dolor inmenso, tristeza..Pienso en lo bueno que Pocha tuvo: Poder disfrutar de ese Paraíso junto a su hija y otros como ellas, compañeros de manada, que la rescataran de esa cárcel de piedra estrecha. Ahora, en el inmenso cielo juega baja la lluvia , feliz, mientras mira y cuida desde allí a Guillermina, su hija que ya no está sola.

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    María Elizabeth Alvarez says

    Estoy destruida….. seguí por horas en vivo la llegada a su libertad. Que dolor e injusticia lo poco que pudo disfrutar del santuario, pero les agradezco todo en lo que hicieron por ella . Ahora sos libre Pocha hermosa!!! Vola muy alto angelito!!!!

  67. REPLY
    cyr ann says

    This is so very sad……….. I’m so happy she was at least able to be at Sanctuary with Guida and she is surrounded by with love her elephant and human family. I know you all are grieving and my sincere condolences to all.
    God bless and RIP dear Pocha……………..

  68. REPLY
    Susy says

    Que tristeza inmensa. No lo puedo creer. No dejo de llorar. Tan feliz fue durante estos meses…preparo a su hija para que pueda vivir sin ella. No dejen de informar cómo está Guille.

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    Alice says

    I am totally heartbroken from this news. What a huge loss for our “herd”, and for the Sanctuary. So many good things can be said about Pocha, and she exhibited the tremendous resiliency that elephants have, considering her environment before Sanctuary. I am so grateful that she was able to experience the wonderful life, care, and love she received at GSE. It is so good that Guille has her new friends and herd mates to help her through this loss. My thoughts are with you, Scott, Kat, and all the staff at GSE as I know this is so difficult for you. Pocha has joined her many ancestors and she will enjoy forever peace.

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    Debbie Sides says

    Absolutely devastating but I am so happy sanctuary was her last home. She lived her life to the fullest these past few months. Giving her daughter the greatest gift – freedom. God bless her beautiful soul and her amazing mothering to Guille. Go to your herd in the heavens dearest Pocha. We send you all our love and peace. 💞🌈🐘

  71. REPLY

    You gave her the best gift she ever received–a beautiful new home for her beloved daughter and the freedom and joy of Sanctuary in her last months. Thank you for that. I weep with you.

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    Mimi says

    No puedo dejar de llorar. No me consuela ni siquiera haberlo visto feliz. Siento el dolor de la Guille y no lo puedo procesar. Pocha y Guille se fueron de mi provincia, Mendoza, y jamás pensé que pudiera disfrutar tan poco el maravilloso habitat que ofrece el santuario. Vuela alto hermosa Pocha, perdón por el encierro, por el muro de piedra y por haberte tenido como objeto de exhibición. Ojalá la manada contenga a esa hija consentida que dejás atrás.

  73. REPLY
    Kathleen says

    Thank you Mother Nature for this magnificent creature, Pocha and her family. May you all be surrounded by grace and peace in this time of mourning.

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    Susan says

    I am so very sorry 😞 my heart goes out to you all. Take comfort in knowing Pocha knew she could go in peace knowing Guillermina was in safe hands and was finally free. 💔

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    Zoi Flores says

    Que tristeza tan grande, imposible digerir que la dulce Pochita se fue. Gracias por todo lo que hicieron por ella y que mi Pocha tuviera la oportunidad de vivir esa maravillosa experiencia en el santuario. Se fue sabiendo que dejaba a su hija no solo en buenas manos sino rodeada de adorables tías que cuidarán de ella.

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    Lynne Neubeck says

    This was shocking and so unexpected to read of Pocha’s passing away. What a remarkable mother to her daughter Guille! I am so grateful to you for rescuing them, and Pocha could experience freedom and happiness and see her daughter flourish! Guille now has a new family to love and support her. The tribute to Pocha was so beautifully written, so incredibly moving and heartfelt. Rest easy sweet Pocha.

  77. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    Tears of sadness for Dear Pocha but still overcome with Joy that she finally got the freedom she so deserved even if it was very brief. My heart is broke for all the girls and everyone there as I know you all loved her as much as we all did. Guille has a great support team she is surrounded by and I know she be become the strong confidence Ele she is meant to be. Sending my condolences to you all.
    Just the saddest news😢😢😢🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘

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    JamesMichael Kolida says

    I am so heart-broken…beyond words…only tears for now. The announcement of Pocha passing away hit me like a freight train. One can only imagine what you tremendous care-givers at the Sanctuary must be feeling. My very heavy heart-felt condolences to all…I’m sorry – I’m beside myself right now…

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    JamesMichael says

    R.I.P. beautiful and brave little girl…I (We) will love you always -and be content in knowing Guillermina will be forever free and well taken care of. I will always love you, Pocha.

  80. REPLY
    jean says

    I am so very sorry for your loss.
    May she rest in peace knowing she gave her daughter a place of freedom and beauty .
    My deepest condolences to every one at the Sanctuary.

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    A says

    I hope Tamy can be rescued soon. I think Guille would be happy to see him.

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    Mónica says

    Que tristeza tan grande, pero dentro de tanto dolor, es que nuestra querida Guillermina no está sola, y todas las queridas chicas, serán un poquito las mamás de Guille.
    Gracias por compartir ésta dolorosa noticias con todos nosotros.
    Y fuerza para seguir con el gran trabajo de rescatar a más y más elefantes!!!!!😥😥😥😥

  83. REPLY
    Eva ki says

    😭😭😭😭This breaks my heart😩. This was one pair I followed from the start of the rescue efforts 😭Poor Pocha, she died free and may we all celebrate that. I am glad Gui has some company and not alone. I hope and pray in time the pain is washed away. I also want to thank the sanctuary for the efforts and I hope you too find healing and strength to continue the great work.

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    Carmen Dalziel says

    I’m just stunned and heartbroken. Was really rooting for her to finally have the opportunity to live as a free Mom. To lose her so soon after rescue is hard to accept. My heart goes out to all of you in this devastating time. I’m praying that Guille is strong enough emotionally to handle the loss of her dear Mother – the only nthing she’s leaned on all her life.
    RIP Pocha – Gone Too Soon

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    Charlotte Hansen says

    I’ m so very sorry for your loss! Bless her heart, Pocha hung on til she knew Guille was happy and settled in with her family. As I’m crying my eyes out, I’m so grateful you rescued them in time for Pocha to have some freedom before it was time for her to go. God bless you all!

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    connie says

    I am very sorry and very sad. I have watched since her rescue and cheered her anther daughter on from afar.
    thank you for giving her a few months of joy, freedom, friendship and happiness! My heart goes out to you!

  87. REPLY
    Dawn says

    So sad and having finally found freedom.

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    Sara says

    I have been re-reading blog posts about Pocha and one thing that comes across is that she was really starting to relax. How much fun it was to see her and Guille discover a pond to play in. Watching Pocha submerge herself, which clearly felt so good! What a blessing she did get to sanctuary and that she had you to work so hard to get her there. Now, I’ll go leak a few more tears.

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    Alana says

    WOW I’m stunned, so sorry to see her go, but so glad she & Gilliie are at GSB. R.I.P. sweet mama Pocha, it was a pleasure getting to know you & I will not forget you. To all at GSB my heart goes out to you.

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    Pierrette Walraevens says

    So heartbroken 💔😥😥 that’s how I feel right now💔😥😥😥 .My Sweet Pocha I remember your Freedom finally together with you lovely daughter Guille, how Happy I was what a Joy it I felt freedom, a Beautiful place to stay with Guille witch I cald a Paradise so much Deserved afther many years in a pit in Mendoza😥 😥 .And now you left us Sweet mum am broken saw you and Guille having the time of you live together at this wonderful Santuary in Brazil .What a Joy for both of you ❤️ My Sweet Gorgeous Pocha am Never Ever gona forget you the rest of my life 😥 now darling Pocha your daughter Guillermina is in good hands but you now that dont you together with all her friends the Elephants, Scott and Kate ❤️ RIP MY GORGEOUS MUM POCHA YOU GONA BE MISSED 💔❤️🥰🐘😘🥰❤️ FOREVER IN MY HEART ALWAYS 💔💔❤️🥰🐘😘🥰❤️😥😥😥😥😥💔

  91. REPLY
    fernande poitras says


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    Sheila K says

    SINCE SYMPATHY TO YOU ALL ON POCHAS 😭PASSING. We are certainly sad and passing tears. This is so hard to believe dear Pocha has passed.

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    christine Dodin says

    POCHA TU ES PARTIE SANS UN BRUIT hier encore je te regardais avec Guillerma et Bambi dans la boue. Je me souviens encore de votre arrivée au sanctuaire des heures a guetter votre sortie…puis avec la découverte de vos nouvelles amies. ;;c est a partir de votre arrivée que j ai suivi votre parcours quotidiennement….J avais une préférence pour Pocha …quelle peine j avais quand je l ai vue au zoo avec Guillerma…quelle tristesse de voir toutes ces magnifiques créatures emprisonnées…J espère que Guillerma saura trouver la paix avec ses nouvelles amies. Je vous remercie pour toute l attention que vous avez su lui apporter. Je salue toute l’ equipe pour avoir attirer mon attention sur cette dramatique histoire.La vie continue il y a encore tant de Pocha à sauver . Merci à toute l équipe Christine France

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    Jane says

    I don’t know how something can so heat breaking and beautiful at the same time.

    This Mother had so much strength to get them through this journey to where they are today. Of course she’d have known she was sick (unless sudden heart failure in which case her spirit left as happy, content girl) but persevered as a parent would. Then seeing that her daughter would be cared for in a this most beautiful Sanctuary by trusted adults and other elephants. She must have passed with at least a sense of peace knowing her daughter would be okay.

    Thank you for sharing and all the work you do.

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    Tammy says

    Rest in peace Pocha you are free now although your time here was short you fully embraced all that freedom has to offer your daughter has a loving family to help her through your passing you will never be forgotten your strength your love for her will forever be remembered 🙏🐘💞

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    Anita J says

    I have no more tears left…And there are truly no words to express my grief and pain I felt and feel on reading this news today… How do you recover from such loss? Do you ever recover? I felt so much love, so many emotions for these two girls, and especially towards Pocha. I would open my phone first thing in the morning to check news from sanctuary. And I would re watch all the videos and re read all the posts about my girls with great joy. I am truly shuttered, devastated and still in disbelieve. And I can’t imagine how Scott, Kat and others are coping with this loss. I am so thankful I could watch Pocha to become a silly, young girl as she never had a chance to be before, enjoying grasses, bushes, trees, ponds, mud holes, chirping birds and sunsets. AND those sand dustings!! But I am also so disappointed and angry, it only lasted four months…Beautiful, sweet, gentle Pocha was really taken from us too soon…this is so, so unfair…She deserved so much more!….I will be grieving her loss for as long as I live myself… She will be forever in my thoughts and my heart….

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    Lynne Russert says

    Maybe Maia will become closer & become a mentor to Guille now that they both experienced a similar tragedy. That would be so special.

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    Romina says

    Desde ayer que leí por primera vez lo sucedido, he leído el reporte varias veces y no puedo evitar llorar. La dulzura, paciencia y amor que tenía Pocha sin dudas era inspirador. Probablemente sabía que el “final” en esta tierra se le acababa, pero totalmente consciente de que su último tramo de vida lo vivió en un ámbito de respeto, amor y libertad y sabiendo que su hija quedaría en el mejor lugar (después de la libertad plena)y rodeada de humanos que la valoran y cuidaran por el resto de su vida así como por su nueva familia elefante que seguirán oficiando de tías que las cuiden y ‘corrijan’ en cada comportamiento no esperable para un elefante.
    Mi corazón quedó partido, te llevaré por siempre en él. Gracias por tanto en esta Tierra y perdón por tan poco Pocha. Los humanos a veces somos demasiado despreciables a veces, y sin dudas ustedes, bellos elefantes nunca debieron ser cautivos ni maltratados. Te amo profundamente bella Pocha ❤️

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    Debra says

    Always impossible to know the depth of damage done to these animals in captivity and how that translates into longevity of life, even in paradise. I am heartbroken for this loss of the sweet and wise Pocha. But I also know that she lived, LIVED these last months in heaven, and she knew that. These creatures depart on their own terms and I am forever thankful that she took her last breaths in freedom, in sanctuary. As always, Scott and Kat and all at sanctuary have dealt with these losses for years and years and always help me to process the loss. But I cry each time and I worry about Guille but know she will be fine with her new family. Thank you for all that you do, every day. Love and light to you all.

  100. REPLY
    María Alicia Bornio says

    Pudo disfrutar sus últimos meses , eso me conforta y dejar a Guillermina con sus pares.. Gracias al santuario por cuidar de estas maravillosas criaturas , de las cuales tenemos que aprender !!

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    Maru says

    Una tristeza enorme… al menos pudiste conocer el santuario y ser feliz junto a tu hija y las chicas los últimos meses! Vola alto Pocha!!! Desde aquí te extrañáremos

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    Julie says

    This is my third comment here, as this one has hit me especially hard because Pocha was so special. I have reread your post and am encouraged a little by your kind sharing of the familial behaviors exhibited by the other Ellies. Thank you, ESB staff, for always giving even during a time that must be truly devastating to you all. Pocha love forever! Love and elephants! Julie

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    Danuta Bücken ( Danaherz) says

    Ich kann kaum was schreiben, bin nur am weinen 😭😭😭 mein Herz ist gebrochen. Beobachte die zwei süßen schon lange . So schön in die Freiheit gekommen und jetzt musst du gehen. Ruhe in Frieden ☮️🙏🙏🙏. Ich hoffe du kannst von oben runter auf deine Tochter gucken und sie beschützen. Ich liebe dich 💕😘🥰💓💖💯

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    Anabella says

    Cuanta tristeza esta noticia, pensé que Pocha iba a disfrutar más de la vida con Guille y la manada después del cruel cautiverio. No entiendo como pudo pasar esto después de tanto esfuerzo, ilusión y esperanzas de que pudiera vivir en el santuario. Ojalá Guillermina se sienta acompañada con la manada. Pochita querida será extrañada

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    Gretchen says

    That precious momma, I believe she held on until she could be sure her baby was in the best place with the best car possible, then she moved on. What an amazing display and description of the love, compassion and support the other elephants were able to provide during such a difficult time. Imagine if she had passed inside the cement walls she had always known, but she didn’t. Instead, she was able to experience the fullness of freedom, watching her baby become comfortable in her new surroundings, knowing it was ok to go. What great sorrow mixed with such tender joy. Blessings to you all.

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    Polly Weber says

    Like so many I woke to this sad, sad news. Tears did flow. I too noticed in my watching the videos that Pocha seemed to slow down, stand back more, and watch her daughter from afar. Still not expecting this news! I am grateful she at least enjoyed a couple of months at GSE. She could let go seeing her daughter safely re-homed. What a lovely Mom she was! Pocha will be remembered!

  107. REPLY
    Polly Weber says

    Also, I need to thank you all for such a detailed write up of Pocha’s passing and explanation of the herd reaction. I know it helped me adjust to her sudden loss.

  108. REPLY
    Ángela Karina Petracca says


  109. REPLY
    Marta says

    Les mando un gran abrazo y agradezco el maravilloso trabajo que realizan. Estoy muy triste por la muerte de la querida Pocha, pero se que ella pudo ser feliz en el santuario por estos meses y eso se lo debemos a uds. Espero Guille no sufra tanto y que su manada la siga apapachando.

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    María Ángeles Fernández says

    Anoche escribí un mensaje en memoria de Pocha. No lo veo publicado, por eso intento dejar ahora unas palabras para ella. Estoy muy triste, no paro de llorar desde anoche por la muerte de mi querida Pocha. Tras muchos años siguiendo su penosa historia en un foso muy reducido de un Zoológico de Argentina. Vivía con su hija Guillermina de 22 años. Estas criaturitas jamás conocieron la libertad, ni los árboles, … Sus cuidadores eran maravillosos. Gracias a la ayuda de USA y a mucha gente que apoyamos su salida de esa “cárcel” de animales, fueron trasladadas hace cinco meses al Santuario Mundial de Elefantes en Brasil 🇧🇷. He seguido sus vidas desde que vivían en Argentina, y ahora felices, libres, conviviendo con otras elefantas. Ellas desconocían lo que era vivir en una manada. El otro día puse un foto de la elefanta Maia posando con su sombrero de heno. Los elefantes son criaturas extremadamente inteligentes. Sufren sus duelos con mucho respeto y tienen un rito. Gracias a Dios que Pocha no ha muerto en Argentina, porque Guillermina hubiera muerto de dolor, ahora al menos tiene unas amigas elefantas, pero estoy muy preocupada, no se despegaba jamás de su madre Pocha. Hoy no es mi día, estoy fatal, aunque se de sobra que Dios va a ayudar a estas criaturas tan puras. El primer juguete que tuve en mi infancia fue un elefante, mi padre me lo regaló, él también amaba los elefantes y tenía una gran colección. Ufff… Qué recuerdos tan bonitos. Gracias GLOBAL SANCTUARY for ELEPHANTS desde ESPAÑA.

  111. REPLY
    Lynn Kinley says

    After reading the announcement and the beautiful tributes to Pocha, my tears are still flowing and my heart remains heavy. For reasons I do not know, I felt a bond with Pocha even more than the other ellies that I love so dearly. Her passing was such a shock to me. So sudden, so heartbreaking. For so many years she had only Guille by her side. No trees, no grass, no freedom. Only her beloved daughter. Then a miracle happened. Thank you, Scott, Kat and team for saving her and Guille and giving life back to them. Pocha was able to feel joy again and finally see her daughter, for the very first time, enjoy life and find friends. I will be forever grateful for being able to GSE for allowing me to share a small part of her life, even from afar. Rest in peace my dear Pocha. You are now truly forever free.

  112. REPLY
    Lynn Kinley says

    After reading the announcement and the beautiful tributes to Pocha, my tears are still flowing and my heart remains heavy. For reasons I do not know, I felt a bond with Pocha even more than the other ellies that I love so dearly. Her passing was such a shock to me. So sudden, so heartbreaking. For so many years she had only Guille by her side. No trees, no grass, no freedom. Only her beloved daughter. Then a miracle happened. Thank you, Scott, Kat and team for saving her and Guille and giving life back to them. Pocha was able to feel joy again and finally see her daughter, for the very first time, enjoy life and find friends. I will be forever grateful to GSE for allowing me to share a small part of her life, even from afar. Rest in peace my dear Pocha. You are now truly forever free.

  113. REPLY
    Leandro says

    Quiero y elijo creer que tiene que existir un lugar donde podamos reencontrarnos con los animales. Son lo mejor de este mundo.POCHA, sin dudas estas en ese lugar de amor y libertad, algun dia quisiera encontrarte, gracias por tu amor.

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    Pam says

    I burst out crying when I read the news and my heart still aches. I am also so very thankful that she did not pass away in the concrete pit and that she was able to experience nature and joy and friendship in her final days.
    Love and Light to All

  115. REPLY
    Shannon says

    Dear Pocha,
    I had the pleasure of watching your rescue and following you at the sanctuary. I am so deeply saddened to hear of your passing, as I was so looking forward to hearing about you and Guille’s transformation for years to come. You are an inspiration to us all.
    Thank you so much,

  116. REPLY
    Noemi Julia says

    Tengo el corazón roto por tu partida! Me consuela saber que has sido feliz, que has conocido la libertad y disfrutado de ella junto a tu inseparable hijita Guille. Descansa en paz Pochita hermosa…💔❤️😢

  117. REPLY
    Pauline says

    It is ver sad, however, I am so happy that Pocha had the chance to be in your sanctuary and know what freedom feels like, and that Guillermina is not alone in her grief! Thank you so much for taking such wonderful care of these beautiful souls.
    Thank you!

  118. REPLY
    Jannet says

    Un hermoso ser, que te toco vivir por mucho tiempo algo que no merecías, pero que al final lograste ser libre junto con Guille, es desgarrador que no haya sido por más tiempo que compensara todos esos años, pero lo que me resigna es que tuviste buenos momentos siendo libre, siendo tu, con la mejor compañía, que el final de tu vida estuvo lleno de amor y respeto, que es lo que merecías.

  119. REPLY
    Tamara says

    Pochita una exelente madre , emprendió su eterno viaje después de dejar a su amada Guille en un hermoso lugar donde es amada y respetada ….
    Mi bella pocha te vamos a extrañar 🖤

  120. REPLY
    Carole Hough says

    Dearest Pocha, you have captured our hearts and it is so, so hard to absorb your passing. How you were still such a gentle, kind and loving soul after all “we” put you through speaks of the heart you had. Such a beautiful elephant and a wonderful mum to Guille, enabling her to survive despite all you had both endured.
    That scene when you first stepped out of the trailer and found the water pipe, the palpable joy of that first moment of Sanctuary’s freedom and delight will remain forever with me.
    We have seen your immense joy and your love of beung in Sanctuary and the enduring picture has to be of you and Guille in the rain. The sheer joy…
    I don’t know what to feel, joy that you had felt and lived in Sanctuary, rediscovering yourself and enabling Guille to begin to find herself. And so heart broken that this time was so short. But maybe this would have come much sooner if you hadnot had the hope found in GSE… I just wish it hadn’t come so soon.
    It has been a huge privilege to share this time with you and my heart felt thanks to Scott, Kat & all at GSE for the unshakeable commitment to bring you and other ellies home. My love & prayers for you all at GSE at this incredibly sad and reflective time. Peace & Light to you 🙏.

  121. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Elephants are truly amazing they have an uncanny gift we’ve yet to truly understand and appreciate! They show humans so much about how to treat others how to treat those in their time of need time of sadness and loss their family bonds unbreakable we should pay closer attention if we did our world would be so much better for it. Pocha was a fine example that even against all odds she was a phenomenal mother who did an outstanding job under horrible conditions. Pocha will forever be remembered for her strength courage and unwavering love for her daughter who will be watched over cared for by her new loving family. Rest in peace sweet girl 🙏🐘💗

  122. REPLY
    Connie Holt says

    I came here Friday after the news, but was unable to write anything – I was too upset. I am still heartbroken, but wanted to leave a post for Pocha. I started following Sanctuary4elephants at the start of the pandemic – so Pocha and Guillermina were the first two elephants I followed from the start of their rescue. I greedily watched every video and read every post along their journey. Since I was new to Sanctuary I first heard Scott’s voice – when he was making a video in Mendoza while acclimating the girls to their crates – I was floored at the love and compassion in his voice for these elephants. I wondered who this man could be? I didn’t know, at the time, who he was and that he feels that way about every elephant! This is very sad news, but it would be worse had Pocha never been rescued to Sanctuary and gotten to spend the last few months being her free self alongside her daughter and her new friends. I do feel as if they are family. I sponsored them as soon as that was available and just imagined many years ahead for both at Sanctuary. It saddens me that this won’t be true for Pocha, but it will be for Guille. Thank you, Scott and Kat and everyone there, for the love you show these wonderful, forgotten elephants. They were not forgotten by you and you give them the life they should have always had. My thoughts are with you and the other elephants who I have come to love as well. I know you are devastated. Of course, Guille is at the center of my concern, but I know she is in the best of hands. Dear Pocha, you were loved by many and will always be missed. I will never forget you poking your head and trunk out of your travel crate dusting yourself when the sky opened up and you enjoyed the rain and broke the pipe to make mud. What a beautiful and sweet sight that was. You were a very special elephant.

  123. REPLY
    Pampa says

    Vuela alto Pochita y descansa en paz. Guille quedó en buenas manos u bien acompañada. Besos al cielo gordita. ❤️

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