And so the rescue begins…..
After several bumps along the journey, some feeling like they were the size of mini mountains, it is time to bring Maia and Guida home. We have arrived to the farm where they have spent the past 5 years and have begun to move forward with their rescue and relocation to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil.
Scott and Lauren took a late night flight out to Sao Paulo, got up before the sun did and were driven to Paraguaçu where the girls are now. We are happy to say that Maia and Guida are doing quite well with all of the new activity that is currently going on around them. The crane company came and unloaded the containers, which the girls will have access to today so they can become more comfortable with them.
At one point there seemed to be a tiny bit of anxiety on their part, with all of the commotion, which is understanding, but it was just for a fleeting moment. Later on one of the girls let out a loud rumble, although Scott isn’t sure who. Luckily we will have years to discover who is more chatty and what vocalizations they make. Scott is just happy to see how at ease they seem to be with the whole process already.
The plan is to spend the next couple of days with them, allow them to get more familiar with Scott, Lauren (caregiver we trained and worked with in Tennessee) and Laura (our vet here in Brazil,) and explore the crates. This time will also allow our team to assess their emotional and physical health a bit more and begin to set the tone for the rest of Maia and Guida’s days at sanctuary: showing that their voice matters, that things are now about what is best for them and that their future will be very different from the lives they have known for the past 40 years. Elephants are not only extremely intelligent, but also incredibly intuitive and we’re sure they will both understand very quickly that their life is about to change for the better.
We are incredibly protective of the elephants in our care and making sure they are respected by all is imperative. On that note, the team in place in Paraguaçu has been amazing. From the transport company, to the crane company, Maia and Guida’s keepers and everyone else involved- they are all going out of their way to make everything work as needed for the girls and doing so with a level of regard for them that is more than we expected. This may not seem like a big deal, but for those of you who receive our print newsletter, you know how important the general tone and energy of the move is, so Scott is thrilled.
This week we will attempt to post several updates on Facebook (our page is public, you don’t have to belong to Facebook to see our posts) throughout each day. We will keep you posted on how Maia and Guida are doing and any changes to the plan-which is always a possibility. As many people who have followed elephant rescues know, it’s not a done deal until they step off the trailer at sanctuary. But we are thrilled to be at this point and finally saying that in less than a week, Maia and Guida will lose their chains forever and finally have sanctuary.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this point. Sanctuary doesn’t exist without all of us. Please know (as I literally write this with tears in my eyes) we are so grateful that you have helped us create this home for elephants and that their healing will soon begin. There are so many elephants that need and deserve this, and you have given it to them.