Maia continues to wander on her own these days, but remains curious about what the other ladies are doing. She is still spending some relaxing time with Rana, but has been watching Mara, Bambi, and Rana together, just at a distance. On a recent night, Maia was near the barn when the three came down for dinner and initially walked away. She gradually eased back toward them and seemed fairly comfortable watching from what she felt was a safe radius. That is, until the excitable Bambi saw George the tapir and decided it was time to chase after him. At that point, Maia decided she’d spent enough time there and moved to the pond with a good bit of haste.
It is common for wild tapirs to wander into the habitat looking for extra food. But the others are more stealthy and come after dusk. George is bolder than the others and shows up before the sun goes down and during mealtimes. He is beginning to tempt fate a bit with Bambi. At times, it feels like he’s taunting her from the other side of the fence and will move just enough to get out of her way when she speeds toward him. George seems to perhaps underestimate how quickly Bambi moves versus how fast he can run away. While he might be playing, we can’t quite tell if Bambi is.
We understand why Maia seems uneasy when Bambi makes sudden movements like this, which are accompanied by loud vocalizations. It can even catch us off guard when Bambi unexpectedly starts to run. Maia may be picking up on Bambi’s protective instincts toward Mara, even though Mara doesn’t need protecting. We suspect that Maia will continue to spend more time with Rana and gradually ease back into getting closer with the three when she senses a calmer energy. Until then, we appreciate that she might feel hesitant, but also applaud her efforts to push her boundaries.
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Katie Howard saysJune 26, 2021 at 3:08 pm
Ahh, Ms Fuzzy Maia with her sticky-putt ears! 😁
She’s a smart lady and wants to keep herself out of the fray, I suspect!
Boy, Bambi’s inclusion at Sanctuary has triggered lots of reactions from the other ladies! I suspect as “the herd” grows, each introduction will add several layers of complexity to their dynamics! It’s great to “watch” the ebbs& flow – even virtually!
Katie Howard saysJune 26, 2021 at 3:09 pm
That was supposed to say sticky-outy ears!!!
Wim saysJune 26, 2021 at 5:32 pm
Very smart attitude Maia distancing is much safer these days. Never a dull moment when Bambi’s in the neighborhood.
Kenneth B. Newman saysJune 26, 2021 at 5:51 pm
Please give us in the USA an update on the South American coronavirus situation and what the conditions are at the Brazil-Argentina border…….Its obvious and sort of sad that while the disease continues to be dangerous, that BY THIS TIME could also have had Kenya, Pocha and Guillermina already delivered to GSE, and well as those two other African elephants that are waiting to be transported to GSE…….Are the fences and barn NOW finished for the African elephants? Could the fence post construction and barn on the land designated for Tamy and any other male Asian elephants get started?
Kat Blais saysJune 26, 2021 at 6:40 pm
Hi Kenneth, we love answering and speaking with all of our supporters, but would appreciate a more courteous tone. We are one of the only sanctuaries that do engage with our supporters this way and simply ask for a little respect in return. I (Kat) will answer your questions, but this will be the last time if your negative tone and attitude continue to be repeatedly felt through your questions. GSE believes in sanctuary for all, and this includes our human staff who shouldn’t feel repeatedly upset by the accusatory tone used.
Brazil is still a disaster when it comes to Covid. You can read any global news channel and find out that they don’t have enough vaccines and people are dying in ambulances because they don’t even have room in the hospitals. A local nurse actually went to the police department to report people are being allowed to die without oxygen because there is none. It’s not pleasant. Argentina has now seen a significant number of cases of the Delta variant, and are considering fully closing their borders again. Travel is very limited at the moment, but we don’t know how it will proceed. But I’m sure the news will share any updates as they occur.
As far as the fences, yes, as we shared in our latest Global Rumblings email, and updated on our Current Happenings webpage, the African fences are finished, but all of the gates have yet to be completed and hung. Only once this is finished, will we be able to acquire the permit that will allow us to bring 3 female African elephants into that habitat. Once we have that, both EcoParques will still need to apply for the CITES permits, which are only valid for 6 months. Since it wouldn’t be fair to bring all 3 at once, Kenya will come first, she will be allowed to settle in (however long that takes her) and then Kuky and Pupy will come. Rescuing elephants is a difficult and long process, made worse by the pandemic. GSE shares rescues much earlier than other organizations, so our supporters have a better understanding of what it takes. Unfortunately, this often results in people feeling like it takes forever, but we still feel it is worth it.
Pocha and Guillermina aren’t here because they simply aren’t ready. As mother and daughter, we knew it would be difficult to train for separations, and with their enclosure limitations, that training would be difficult in general. We sent and paid for 2 trainers/caregivers to go there for several months to work with them. Unfortunately, P&G still aren’t ready yet. As with everything we do at sanctuary, things happen on their time. We don’t force them to cooperate, nor can we. It would have been great if they were better with testing, and walked separately into their crates like most elephants, but that’s not the case. Once they are ready, we will bring them home.
The male Asian elephant habitat follows the same rules as all of the others. Once we had the supplies, which we now have the steel, we have to apply for the permit to build. Once granted, we can begin construction of his barn and fencing, but not before. Due to government closures from Covid, this is a slower process than normal and there is nothing we can do about it except ask politely and be thankful for the positive relationships we already have with these organizations.
I think that covers everything that was asked, which most of has been discussed in updates and emails. Please understand part of the reason we are able to answer every question and comment is because most people are reading what we share and asking questions that haven’t already been addressed, and asking politely. I hope in the future you will do the same.
For any of our other supporters who may read this and think it sounds harsh, this is literally the first time I have ever had to step in and say something like this to a supporter in 8 years. I have had to ask people to play nice when opinions differ, but only a handful of times. This has been ongoing for some time, and it reached a point where it was enough. I hope you all understand.
Katie Howard saysJune 26, 2021 at 9:10 pm
Like many others who support GSE, I support other elephant Sanctuaries as well – in Kenya, South Africa & Thailand. I can say unequivocally that the GSE commitment to communicating with supporters, or anyone interested, is head and shoulders above most.
I am in awe of the bandwidth evident at GSE.
Scott, Kat, visiting vets, and “caregivers in training” develop & protect the habitat, care for their now five elephants (& other varied and sundry animals at Sanctuary), including medical treatments, procuring food of a wide variety and provide endless foot care. In addition, they plan for future and expanded habitats, deal with all the politics and permits to obtain permission to move elephants, coordinate the training and quarantine and travel arrangements for the elephants and the team (especially challenging in COVID-era), and supervise the workers building the fences, barns and gates – AFTER securing the materials – which follows the “softest” (& very effective) fundraising approach I have ever encountered.
I commend Scott and Kat for their vision, their dedication and commitment to “building bliss” for these elephants who so badly need some space, support, care, respect and love.
Most of us in the US have NOT experienced the same COVID experience people in less fortunate countries have and are still experiencing. The reality in Brazil is a far cry from the US.
GSE needs every supporter it can get and I hope you continue to support their endeavors, with respect. It is, after all, all about the elephants! ❤️🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘❤️
Kat Blais saysJune 26, 2021 at 11:32 pm
thank you, that is very kind
SHEILA saysJune 26, 2021 at 10:42 pm
OH MAIA! ❤️🐘 U LIL TANK LADY WITH THE FURRY HEAD!! SO CUTE❗️ YES MAIA SORT OF TURNED OFF ON HANGING WITH MARA AND RANA I THINK SINCE BAMBI ARRIVED WITH ALL HER EXTROVERTED EXUBERANCE! YES WHILE 🐘BAMBI IS HARMLESS IT MAKES ME WONDER IF SHE WAS ORIGINALLY. BOSSY IN PLAY WITH MADISEN❓THOSE 2 SURE DIDNT GET ALONG SADLY AND WHEN SCOTT ARRIVED BAMBI WAS DEPRESSED!! NOW IT SEEMS POOR 🐘MAIA IS KIND OF LEFT OUT BUT RANA KNOWS WHEN MAIA NEEDS HER FRIENDSHIP! WHICH IS WONDERFUL‼️ I DO THINK SHES WATCHING THE DYNAMICS OF THE TRIO RANA! MARA AND BAMBI! I SURE HOPE MAIA JOINS THEM WHEN BAMBI COOLS DOWN HER RUSHING ABOUT AND LOUD EXUBERANCE❗️
SHEILA saysJune 26, 2021 at 10:57 pm
VERY SORRY CORONA VIRUS IS STILL PEAKING AND NOW DELTA VARIANT THROUGHOUT ARGENTINA😢SO SAD THIS PANDEMIC HAS RUINED GE BRAZIL PLANS FOR RESCUING
KENYA 🐘AND 🐘PUKY AND 🐘KUKY. YES I GOT GUILLERMINA AND POCHAS T-SHIRT BUT I HAVE SUSPECTED THEY WOULD BE A TOUGH PAIR TO SEPARATE FOR THE TRIP! THE TRAINERS DID ALL THEY COULD! BUT WHEN THE LADIES DONT WANT TO TRAIN! THEY R TOO BIG TO ARGUE WITH😀. STILL HOPING AND PRAYING FOR MUM AAND HER GIRL👍 BUT IT WILL BE NICE TO SEE KENYA 🐘ARRIVE👍IM EXCITED FOR HER TO BE FIRST WHEN COVID STOPS🛑
Andrea saysJune 26, 2021 at 11:09 pm
Kat and the entire team GSE : Thank you for juggling so many balls in the air while keeping the elephants’ needs first!
Beji saysJune 27, 2021 at 6:47 am
I think you folks are doing a superb job under the most trying of circumstances. I imagine you only share a fraction of what it takes to just get thru the day. I applaud all of you. Even George. As for me, I’m here to stay.
Kat Blais saysJune 27, 2021 at 10:17 am
thank you 🙂
Debbie Sides saysJune 27, 2021 at 7:29 am
Fuzzy head Maia I just love her! A wonderful part of sanctuary Freedom of choice. Take your tine sweet girl. Plenty of things to explore and do ike pond blobbing 💙
Anita Janusz-Wong saysJune 27, 2021 at 8:55 am
I KNOW that this post was suppose to be about Maia, but I could not help but zoom on comments about Bambi and her sprinting about the place! I know it may be very unsettling to Maia but I could not stop imaging Bambi running ….it made me giggle….I truly can’t believe how alive our Bambi is these days comparing to her poor, scared state in that ZOO. I will NEVER get rid of that image of poor Bambi’s face poking from around the corner of her barn there…it broke my heart! That said, here is hoping Maia will get use to our Bambi’s antics and may even start to tolerate them or just ignore them…I so hope they all become close friends and spend more time together. But if that does not happen I will be fine with that as well…They are all still very traumatise …they may never feel like being close to more than one other ellie at a time…Thank you for your daily updates! Love them all
L. saysJune 27, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Kat, good job! Your reply to that gentleman brought back memories of my grandad who often said, “You can be mistreated once, but not twice.”
And about Bambi, it’s soo good she can go fast–she’s healthy
Debbie Sides saysJune 27, 2021 at 11:24 pm
Anyone can read the blogs and read up on the progress and status of the building of the habitats, rescues, residents health & life at ESB. Kat, your reply was not harsh at all. So grateful to GSE staff & supporters for continuing to make a difference in the lives of all its current & future residents.
John saysJune 28, 2021 at 1:22 pm
It’s stunning and baffling that anyone would criticize your methods with the elephants, who you obviously all love and just want the best for.
Sara saysJune 28, 2021 at 1:30 pm
Our entire reason for being is to rescue elephants. We would never delay unless there were serious reasons to do so. One of our goals is to be as transparent as possible and let our supporters understand why things are happening at the rate they are and in the way they are. All of us are anxious and excited for more elephants to see sanctuary. Sometimes we just need reminders of the bigger picture. Thank you for your thoughtful support.
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