Maia Shares Space With Mara and Rana

This morning, just after breakfast, we let Maia into yards 1, 2, and 3 with Mara and Rana. The video begins just after we opened the gate. For those that don’t know Maia, she’s a big girl with big energy who is sometimes lovingly referred to as a bulldozer. She’s not mean, she’s just not the most gentle of elephants. But if reminded, she knows to soften.

When Maia walked in, she came in at her normal speed but slowed down. She stopped for a moment, but then walked right through and away. A few moments later she did another pass. This time she tried to walk between Rana and Mara, who weren’t having it. When they didn’t let her join in that way, she walked away again. Maia went and got a drink, came back around, and walked on by.

Maia is very sensitive, she’s big in every way. We didn’t want her to feel rejected, so we brought her in and did a little tick check and eye washing. This allows her to get treats (she loves her food), feel a sense of accomplishment, and hold someone’s hand for a bit. It may sound silly, but it’s something she likes. She didn’t care for it in the past, but several months ago she decided she enjoys it. After her little session, Maia seemed a bit more relaxed.

The girls circled through each other’s orbits for a few hours, then all three ended up in yard one down by the mud wallow. Initially, Maia stayed at a distance, but slowly she approached Rana and Mara. This time, instead of trying to go between them, she turned and went in butt first. She stood for some time with her backside touching both Rana and Mara’s. After a bit, she turned to face them, touched along Mara’s back, and then stood by Rana’s side dusting.

They all did very well, it was nice and relaxed with just a few quiet Mara squeaks. After about 20 minutes, Maia walked away, in search of food. The yards remained open all day, with access to yard 5 as well. Right now, Maia is in yard 3, Rana and Mara were briefly in 5, but now look like they’re heading back into yard 1.

All in all, a good introduction for Maia who is essentially walking into a pair of elephants who already seem to share a deep bond. We are very proud of Maia for being patient, gentle, and not giving up.

May 19, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    It’s so sweet to see them all together and how Rana seems to comfort Mara when Maia is headed their way. What a gentle soul Rana is. So happy to see them together. Hopefully in time when Lady is more comfortable she will come around and get to know all the girls. They all deserve the bond And love that only another Elephant can give ????

  2. REPLY
    Linda Lalonde says

    I remember Maia and Guida teaching Rana the art of being patient and taking things slow. It seems to have come full circle and now Maia is faced with two elephants that have an existing bond and she must be the patient one. Things look good though and that is wonderful! Rana and Mara were definitely not having her come between them at the beginning, not at all lol.

  3. REPLY
    Debra Moore says

    VERY happy with this fist meeting up close. Everyone was polite and gave ground. i do not always understand all that is happening but despite being nervous i was pleased with how the Mara/Rana team stuck together and how calm Miss Maia remained. Well done.

    • REPLY
      Wim Diepeveen says

      They live and feel in quite awesome dimensions. Many miles ahead of other mammals. Leaving spaces to enter or leave in a magnificent peaceful playful way.
      Be safe and sheltered girls. ?????

  4. REPLY
    Barb says

    Given time they may become three best friends. They are well on their way. If only lovely Lady would feel more comfortable around them but maybe she just prefers her solitude (and her pond).

  5. REPLY
    Barb says

    Given time they may become three best friends. They are well on their way. If only lovely Lady would feel more comfortable around them but maybe she just prefers her solitude (and her pond) :o)

  6. REPLY
    Sherry says

    She wants to be accepted too! She wants to be friends and she will.??

  7. REPLY
    Lila says

    Almost all the herd together… I love it… and later on, one day, Lady will join too.

  8. REPLY
    Lori Hoover says

    I’m very proud of Maia, too. And, I’m grateful that you all found a way to help smooth things over, too.

  9. REPLY
    Lane Olson says

    That was so interesting to see. Thank you for explaining what is happening beneath the elephant behavior being displayed. We all become more educated about the sophistication and complexity of elephant culture.

  10. REPLY
    Carol Anderson says

    Wonderful news about the three. Hope Lady befriends the others soon. Mara is doing so well. Doesn’t seem to have any problems being with the others so soon. This is definitely good news.

  11. REPLY
    carey says

    What an interesting first meeting without a barrier. Amazing to see. Such power , and I am thinking what it must look and feel like to be right there

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.