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Lady Almost Touches Guille

During Pocha’s recent wanderings into Yard 4, when she briefly lost track of Guillermina, we were doing our best to help reunite mother and daughter. While looking for Pocha, we saw Lady walk up to the fence that separates Yard 5, where she was spending time, from Yard 4, where Guillermina was hanging out with Maia.

Guille’s rear end was near the gate between the two yards and, to our incredible surprise, Lady stretched out her trunk and nearly touched Guillermina. At that very moment, Guille accidentally banged up against the gate, which startled Lady and caused her to back up. Still, this was an exciting moment to witness, as we haven’t seen Lady touch another elephant since she arrived at sanctuary. 

When Pocha, Guillermina, and Maia walked past this same spot later in the day, Lady didn’t seem keen on communicating. We’ll be keeping an eye on Lady to see if she appears interested in interacting with the new elephants as time goes on. She often has access to Yard 1 near the barn (sometimes at night if she is still in the area) when Pocha and Guille are in Yards 2 and 3. Some evenings she shows up for their 10 pm feed, and will mosey up to the barn to make sure we know she is there, so she can also get some hay and extra goodies. When the two girls are farther out in the larger yard or at the very back of 3 during the day, she has been comfortable enough to come into the barn for foot soaks and stays calm, but watchful of the surrounding area. (We wouldn’t bring Lady into the barn if Pocha and Guillermina also had access at the same time.) Lady will be the decision maker on how big her comfort “bubble” needs to be with the newest arrivals, but it was intriguing to see how willing she was to seek out physical contact with another elephant – if only for a brief moment.

Photo of Lady

Comments(17)

  1. REPLY
    Pam says

    Wow. This is so amazing! What a great development. Thanks for sharing.

  2. REPLY
    Susan Flewelling says

    Baby Steps!!

  3. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Oh, I love Lady so much and think it would be wonderful if she felt she could make contact with either of the new girls. She’s in my thoughts a lot. I’m always hoping her feet are improving. xoxo

  4. REPLY
    Zoi Flores says

    Cute Lady is a box of surprises! 💖

  5. REPLY
    Elizabeth says

    That is interesting news. Did Guillermina see Lady and even know she was reaching out? Did Guillermina back up to let Lady get a sniff?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      No. Guillermina was facing away from Lady. After the bang startled Lady, she wasn’t interested in interacting any longer.

  6. REPLY
    Beci says

    I am so thrilled to hear this news. It sounds as if Lady is interested in the girls. Like us humans, we meet one person that we click with and feel comfortable like we’ve known them a long time. I am sure it’s the same for them. Do you guys allow the elephants to mate?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      No. We don’t allow breeding in captivity. Additionally, most of our elephants would be considered too old to have a child, though it is technically still possible.

  7. REPLY
    Melinda says

    This is such wonderful news, on so many levels! How incredible it would be if Lady could let down her guard and let P&G into her life! All three would benefit!

  8. REPLY
    Wim says

    The times they are a-Changing.
    Good luck Lady.

  9. REPLY
    Maxi says

    Awwww Ladybug! So big and brave xxx

  10. REPLY
    Barb says

    I know it might not be Lady’s goal but secretly those of us that love the girls wish for her to make contact. We’ll abide by her decision.

  11. REPLY
    Marcia says

    Do you suppose Lady somehow knows that Guille is a child, or, has never really met other elephants before? Maia too, is often stand-offish with the others but was one of the first to reach out. In fact, all of the Sanctuary elephants are approaching as if they have this same understanding that these two need “extra help”. Could this be true?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      I’m sure they can communicate with one another, but there’s really no way to know the whys. It certainly is interesting to watch things unfold, though.

  12. REPLY
    Portia says

    Hi Sara just wanted to ask more about breeding in captivity comment
    1) when you say captivity , so you mean that they come from this captive mindset ? Since sanctuary isn’t captivity but represents freedom
    2) since you have so much respect for their choices, how would you be able to prevent them from mating if that’s the choice they were to make, if a male were there ? Thanks for all you do

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Portia, thanks for your questions. Sanctuary is technically a captive environment, since it’s not the wild. However we make it as close to their natural environment as possible. We don’t currently have any male elephants, but they will have their own separate habitat with a corridor connecting, in case the elephants want to socialize. The female elephants here are older and it wouldn’t be a good idea for some of them (like Lady) to have a baby. So we’d have to come up with a birth control solution, if they were to mingle. Additionally, our accreditation does not allow for captive breeding, so it’s just not something we’d do. I hope that answers your questions!

  13. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    OH MY GOODNESS. SUCH GREAT NEWS MZ LADY NEARLY TOUCHED GUILLE!!! AMAZING SHES NEVER TOUCHED ANY OF THE LADIES NOT EVEN DEAR SWEET RANA WHO STOOD EVERDAY NEAR YARD ONE LOOKING AT MZ LADY FOR HRS. TO NO AVAIL!! WOW I RECALL LADY CAME TO BARN AREA ABOUT DAY 3 AFTER P,&G ARRIVED. LADY WAS VERY INTERESTED IN POCHA AND GUILLE BUT THE BARKING THEY WERE DOING AND TRUMPETING KINDOF DROVE HER AWAY
    IMO I THINK LADY LIKES GUILLE AND POCHA, PERHAPS SHES READY TO BOND WITH THEM
    NOT SURE GUILLE WOULD BE REAL GENTLE WITH LADY BUT THAT WOUKD BE THERES TO WORK OUT. ITS JUST SO WONDERFUL TO HEAR LADY REACHED OUT TO ALMOST TOUCH GUILLE,

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