Keeping an Eye On Guille’s Emotional State

Some of you have asked how it’s possible to identify the changes that Guillermina might be going through as she moves through the healing process. We have learned over the years what sorts of tell-tale signs emerge when an elephant is dealing with significant change or grief. As with any species, every individual is different, but there are multiple things we watch for that can signify changes in emotional state. 

For instance, Guille tends to be a social elephant who likes spending time with her herd mates; lately she has also been seeking out some time to herself. Both of these responses are normal. However, if we witnessed a significant change in her social activity and interactions with the other elephants, that might be a sign that she’s experiencing challenges. Though her routine is currently a little different from her previous norm, if we saw further deviations from her patterns, that might be another indication of potential distress. 

Simple signs like looking especially tired, a change in posture, or how Guille is moving could signal a swing in her emotional state. We also monitor appetite and look for either a reduction or increase in food intake. If Guillermina were experiencing a depressive episode, she may actually overeat rather than eat less. She enjoys food and might find comfort in eating more than normal. For now, she has stayed consistent in the amount of food and snacks she’s consuming. If her vocalizations were to change dramatically – and we have seen a decrease in Guille making as many noises as she previously did – that could signal that she’s processing something new. At the moment, Guille doesn’t seem to be looking or calling for Pocha, but she does sometimes return to the barn, which may bring her comfort. 

Overall, Guillermina is doing well considering the gravity of what she has experienced in the last week and a half. We will continue to watch all of these elements to see how they change or if they change. There is potential for evolution within her grieving process which, again, is completely normal. But we’ll be keeping an eye on her not just today and tomorrow, but in the coming weeks and months as well.

Photo of Guille in the shade


  1. REPLY
    CAROL says

    She is blessed, as are all the girls, to be in such capable, loving, knowledgeable and caring hands! God bless you guys!

  2. REPLY
    Alejandra Enquin says

    Gracias por este informe del estado emocional de Guille.Que alivio que ella vaya procesando lo mejor posible su dolor por la ausencia de mami Pocha🙏😢y que importante que tiene el apoyo de la manada aunque es logico que necesite tiempo sola.Te amo mucho Guille chiquita querida.Mucha fuerza bebota🙏❤️😘💓🐘💓

  3. REPLY
    Pam says

    I’m always grateful for these daily missives. Thank you for your kindness and consistency in keeping us informed about Guillermina’s well being at this time. We are all grieving with her and send much love.

  4. REPLY
    rand says

    Losing your Mother no easy event for anyone she appears to be dealing with it well certainly better than I would

  5. REPLY
    Andrea Kerin says

    Thank you for taking good care of her and all the ladies. Guille, I’m sending you loving vibes.

  6. REPLY
    Luanne L Schick says

    You are Angels 😇 without visible wings 😇. God bless 🙌 🙏 all your Amazing Hearts. The world 🌎 is praying 🙏 recovery for the loss of her Precious Mom Pocha. Love ❤️ Huzs. Alberta Canada.

  7. REPLY
    María Elizabeth Alvarez says

    Thank you for the update, Guille is my thoughts….

  8. REPLY
    Julie says

    Bless her heart! ❤️🙏

  9. REPLY
    Wim says

    Many thanks for this message. Mothers can’t be replaced and hopefully Guille finds enough strength and herd chemistry to keep on walking proudly.

  10. REPLY
    Melinda says

    It’s wonderful to see her processing this tragedy in a positive and healthy manner. Thank God she is surrounded by loving ele “aunties” and humans. I look so forward to hearing more about G’s progress in her life journey. Thank you for sharing!

  11. REPLY
    Nieves says

    Espero que pronto publiquen la necropsia para saber la verdad de la muerte de Pocha vivió más de 30 años en Mendoza y en menos de 5 meses se les murió.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We are still waiting on those results, which are being examined by an independent organization.

  12. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    is this a reason picture of Guille if so she looks a little sleepy but she looks ok we all need to remember new home everything that’s happened that’s a lot to handle but they said she’s doing good and that’s good thanks for the information also how’s the Auntie’s doing

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      This is a recent picture of Guille, yes.

  13. REPLY
    Deb says

    She returns to the barn. That is so very sad that she is wanting the safe space her & Pocha used. But more importantly, she is looking for you all, right? Wanting love & comfort from you. She trusts you all so much! That’s wonderful💖🐘

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      The barn is a safe space for her. It makes sense that she would go there for a sense of comfort.

  14. REPLY
    Tammy says

    It brings us great comfort to know Guille is in safe loving hands with her new sisters and all you amazing caregivers! Pocha gave so much she gave everything to raise Guille in that hell hole i will be saddened by her death for quite some time. I know Pocha is in heaven now but my heart is broken I will never understand the cruelty in this world to deliberately hurt to torture these beautiful gentle giants is beyond my comprehension. Thank you everyone you are angels on earth what you do is so incredibly selfless 🙏🐘💞

  15. REPLY
    Susy says

    Gracias por este informe. Lo espero diariamente. Leer lo que escriben con tantos detalles y tanto amor, me hace sentir más cerca de Guille y del resto de la manada. Que el universo le brinde día a día la fuerza necesaria para seguir. Amo a Pocha y la extraño enormemente. Te amo Guille..fuerza mí corazón.

  16. REPLY
    Jen says

    Oh,,, so much love to all the ladies. ..
    I cannot even fathom the loss Guille must feel, especially so soon after such a big move and change of circumstance. It comforts me to know that ya’ll have such careful watching eyes on the baby of the herd… And that the rest of the aunties, cousins and friends within the growing herd do, too . (In Hawaii we all have “aunties” and “cousins” that are part of our family, regardless of birth origin).
    We love, support, champion, and keep open hearts for our sweet beasts.
    Thank you again, for your thoughtful updates.

  17. REPLY
    Annie says

    The updates are much appreciated

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