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Lady and Maia Show a Photographer Their “Good Side”

Majestic Maia

A journalist and photographer were here last week, working on an article about the sanctuary. While we do most interviews using audio or video calling, it’s helpful for reporters to come here and see the property in order to grasp the bigger picture.

As guests, they are always supervised and given strict rules about where to stand and their behavior. They don’t approach or interact with any elephants. We also ask them to keep their voices down around the elephants to respect their space. After all, the sanctuary is a home for elephants, not humans.

Lady doesn’t usually like having her photo taken. She isn’t aggressive, but her body language changes when we start taking pictures or videos. After a short time—usually under three minutes, she gets a grumpy expression on her face and glares at us. Interestingly, when this photographer took photos, Lady didn’t seem to mind. She completely ignored them and was smiling, and carefree. Scott and the photographer were able to stay outside of her area and take photos of her for 15–20 minutes. We joked that Lady must’ve known this person is a better photographer than us for her to have enjoyed her portrait session so much. She trusts us in so many ways, but she must not trust us to get her flattering angles.

The reporter also rode out with Scott into the habitat. We can share videos and maps that show how large the sanctuary is and what the elephants have access to, but nothing compares to seeing it. What sanctuary offers isn’t best exemplified by smaller spaces or during medical care; real sanctuary is in the wilderness with no borders in view. Reporters tend to be excellent communicators; it’s what makes them good at their job. After chatting the entire tour, Scott and the reporter were in Yard 4 and came upon Maia grazing in Yard 5. The reporter fell silent for the first time.

Maia has such a strong and powerful presence. It can intimidate new people, but this reporter was so captivated and mesmerized by Maia that she had no words. Once they left the habitat, and Scott asked her what she thought. The reporter remembered she had her camera to take photos, but was so overwhelmed by the beauty of an elephant at peace at sanctuary, she completely forgot to take a single image.

Photo of Maia.

Comments(21)

  1. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    We need to have these stories reaching as many people as we can. With all the rumor in the web about taking Bambi back to Ribeirao, we need to show to the public and those who make decisions that the Sanctuary is her place, and it can free many more eles from limited life in Zoos.

  2. REPLY
    Julie says

    Beautiful. I hope you’re able to post the reporter’s article in some way.

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      We will share a link once it’s up.

  3. REPLY
    Carol Durham says

    How wonderful to be reminded of the awesome affect of being in the.presence of elephants in a peaceful and natural state of mind in Sanctuary. Something that the Global Sanctuary caregivers experience daily— yet new to Almost everyone outside of that world. Your insightful blogs, photos and videos offer such a special understanding of why Global Sanctuary exists. Bless you all.

  4. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Wow, this is powerful……..Maia’s beauty and presence renders one speechless. I can certainly understand this. A poignant picture of a stunning animal totally at peace in her surroundings after a lifetime of abuse. You have to be proud at what you have achieved, I feel proud to be part of the sanctuary family in my small way.

  5. REPLY
    Wim says

    Wonderful story marvelous encounter. Animals and especially Elephants have extra senses designed to feel coming events. 🙏🐘

  6. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    What a shame she missed the very last one, but how wonderful that it was because s she was mesmerised. She will always remember this day and I hope she produces a brilliant article.

  7. REPLY
    Carol says

    Wowwwww. So moving. Our majestic ladies are impressive in every way. Have a blessed holiday and healthy 2021!!!

  8. REPLY
    John says

    Y’all make the best posts! Thank you so much! I feel like I know these elephants.

  9. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    Speaking for myself….I know I would be so star struck,, and mesmerized to actually be in the presence of these girls, i would not only forget to take a picture, I would become mute and unable to speak!🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘♥️

  10. REPLY
    Audrey says

    I can totally understand why the photographer didn’t take any photos. I think I would be mesmerized as well. They’re such elegant beings, the elephants, not the photographer. 😂 Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    Their magnificence would leave me with 😳 this look on my face.

  11. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Photographer was so overwhelmed by the beauty of an elephant at peace at sanctuary, she completely forgot to take a single image!! That says it all, Kat and Scott!!!!!♥️

  12. REPLY
    bo says

    “Overwhelmed by the beauty of an elephant!”

    That is completely how elephant lovers feel about elephants.
    And oh, yes, especially when they are at peace and in a natural safe environment, which is the case at paradise-like sanctuary over there in Brazil!
    So glad the photographer loved the visit and that Lady felt only good vibes from that visit.

    Flattering angles 🙂 haha…
    Eumh, excuse me but eumh, elephants are nothing but flattering 🙂

    Lovely this update, thank you!

  13. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Everyday when I get these articles about the Elephants I just smile knowing their safe

  14. REPLY
    FRANCINE FORD says

    What a completely amazing testimony on exactly what Sanctuary is; eles doing ele things ele ways & on ele time. That plus the fact that you can get a journalist with a camera to go get where her voice & camera were says so much more. Ms Lady bug not wanting her pics taken to the point of getting annoyed @ the picture taker might come from memories past. Maybe she was forced to sit still while endless streams of people had their pictures taken with her was once her gig. Just thought I had. Anyway, maybe La Lady somehow sensed that this journalist had an important message to convey in her pictures, so she “let” the woman take her picture. 😉 . Please let us know when her article & pics come out.
    ❤🐘❤🐘❤🐘❤🐘❤

  15. REPLY
    Anella Stewart says

    Can’t wait to view the link. I can attest to how one is completely mesmerized when in the presence of an elephant when years ago I came within 5 feet of one of these majestic beauties. She was behind bars, but I’ll never forget that feeling of being so overwhelmed esp when our eyes met. I’ve never forgotten that totally awesome experience, feeling so very blessed to have met her.

  16. REPLY
    Sallie says

    Cover Girl Maia, your powers over mere humans are amazing! You are a VERY special girl, with incredible instincts and poise . Lovely story . . .

  17. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    NICE COMMENTARY👍! WELL MS 🐘LADY MUST HAVE KNOWN IT WAS AN IMPORTANT
    PHOTOGRAPHER TO GIVE THEM OPPORTUNITY TO GET NICE PICTURES OF HER AND JUNGLE! AS FOR 🐘MAIA! IM SURE SHE ENJOYED THE ATTENTION AND LIMELIGHT! BUT I GUESS THAT SHE WAS SO GORGEOUS ( WHICH SHE REALLY IS) WELL THE PHOTOGRAPHER MISSED THEIR PHOTO OPPORTUNITY OF MAIA‼️ DONT ANYONE TELL MAIA🐘ABOUT LOVELY POSING FOR PHOTO OP THAT WAS MISSED‼️😄😃😀

  18. REPLY
    Beji says

    Seems like this is a case of no picture is worth a thousand words. Maia, the magnificent!

  19. REPLY
    Carol Anderson says

    I respect the fact that you are so protective towards the Girls. Everything you do is about the Girls not about the humans. Reporters, although given specific limits, are necessary to introduce the Girls to the wider pubic. I cant wait to see their story. Merry Christmas to all that work there to care for the Girls.

  20. REPLY
    Patricia Bamford says

    I know if I was lucky enough to come face to face with any of the girls I would be speechless and would almost certainly burst into tears with awe and happiness.

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