Maia’s Journey To Open Up

In the morning, Mateus was working with Rana at the treatment barn, while Mara, Bambi, and Maia were nearby in one of the yards by the barn; it was a warm day so they were all super sleepy. Guille was in a neighboring yard because she was not sleepy and had lots of energy. After Rana was finished with her treatments and walked out into the yard, we opened up the gate for Guillermina to come through to where the other elephants were hanging out – and this got the whole crowd very excited. 

Maia’s energy went way up and she began to make faces and use body language that suggested she was going to vocalize. Sometimes when elephants are about to make a noise, they do a little head wiggle and scrunch up their faces. Maia was doing this, getting really silly and playful, but she stopped herself just before it seemed she was going to make a noise. The other elephants continued to express their excitement, but Maia seemed to calm down after that. She went back into her sleepy phase and wandered over to eat the hay that the others left on the ground when they gathered together in a hurry. 

Though Maia didn’t quite get to the point where she vocalized, it was encouraging to see her find that playful side. She and Guida were constantly making silly noises and expressing their joy – but Maia hasn’t found it within herself to get back to that place emotionally since Guida’s death. We are hopeful that Maia continues on this path; even having these small moments is beneficial, because it shows her trying to open up and let herself be vulnerable around the other elephants. Even if she’s not ready to go to that emotional place again, it’s lovely to see her inching in that direction. 

To learn more about Maia, her story, and how she’s continued to grow over time, visit our website here:

Photo of Maia


  1. REPLY
    Pamela Hall says

    The inward journey to healing is more difficult than any of us know. Small steps are steps and she has a soft place to fall when she’s ready.

  2. REPLY
    Maureen says

    Sweet, sweet Maia. It’s so hard when you lose your very best friend and sister. Grieving takes many different forms and we always remember what we lost. I know this all too well. Keep moving forward sweet lady, at your own pace. You will find yourself again and enjoy being silly with your sisters!!

  3. REPLY
    Julie says

    So profound, what these elephants are capable of. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. REPLY
    Lori Hoover says

    I’m so happy for Maia, as your posts over these past months have shown her silly, happy spirit emerging again, I think. I am rooting for her and for the girls to enjoy a full throated Maia talk.

  5. REPLY
    Terry says

    She will get there!!! Im certain of it. Maia, you are so loved by so many!

  6. REPLY
    Carey says

    Ditto Lori Hoover

  7. REPLY
    John says

    I love your descriptions of the elephants’ behaviors and the shifting relational dynamics. It’s all very fascinating. Thank you!

  8. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Sweet sweet Maia she’s been through so much in her lifetime as we all know it’s not always easy in fact scary to make that final step when you’re feeling vulnerable but she’s doing great she couldn’t be in a better place surrounded by those who truly love her dearly her sisters and her human family are all there to guide her to support her to shower her with love and that’s what gets Maia across that finish line 😘🐘🤗

  9. REPLY
    Sheila says

    Poor Maia. Just hasn’t found Great Joy yet since Guida passed. Very profound grief. That just has not developed more joy. She stayed alone for 3 yrs 95% of the time. I hope GUILLIE WILL PROMOTE HAPPINESS SOON FOR MAIA. She sure needs this extra boost other than Watermellons😍🍉🍉

  10. REPLY
    Carey says

    I’ve learnt a great deal from Maia, I’m in awe of all of her. Thank you for helping me get to know her.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      It’s our pleasure.

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