Mara and the Birds

When Mara first arrived, she was a little nervous about birds as well as wildlife in general. After decades in a sterile zoo enclosure, she wasn’t used to other animals moving in and out of her space so freely. She also wasn’t used to moving in and out of their space either.

In a few of our early videos with her, you could see her running at the birds to scare them off. This behavior is somewhat typical for new arrivals. What was different with Mara is that she would also run away from them at times, something we’ve never seen in any of the other girls.

Someone asked the other day how she felt about birds after a few weeks here, and we wanted to do a post about it. We filmed these videos at dinner on two different nights and they show how much of a non-issue the birds are now. She is entirely comfortable with them around her. These specific birds (anis) like to eat the bugs that come out of the grass as the elephants move, so the girls seem to learn to appreciate their company.

Mara is becoming so much more confident in general, and we couldn’t be more proud!

There are a few different clips in the video. In every clip, Mara is the closer elephant, and, of course, the elephant by her side is Rana.

June 22, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Sheila says

    Thats right ?mara❤️dear you are far larger than the lil birdies‼️ great to see you know now , they are your bug ?eating buddies??

  2. REPLY
    Sallie Robbins-Druian says

    Miss Mara, is incredibly aware of her surroundings and the Life Forms in them! From birds to insects, she creatively is making a game of it! No such thing as boredom for her! Enjoy your life, Miss Mara!

  3. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    Blue Skies, lush greenery, friendly wildlife and your new best friend Rana munching by your side. Truly paradise for a previous captive elephant. Oh how I wish this freedom for all elephants. Thank you GSE.

  4. REPLY
    Victoria Bush says

    Probably a lot easier on her than other new elephants to adjust to things since she has her BFF, Rana, to tell her what’s safe and what is not. ❤️

  5. REPLY
    Barb says

    Excellent! Birds are no longer those scary “creatures” ?. The birds obviously love the girls stirring up bugs. Mutual admiration society

  6. REPLY
    Bertica Valdes Suárez says

    The sisters look so happy next to each other eating their dinner in their sanctuary—the clouds, the sky, the sun. I feel like I’m right there enjoying this gift of a day. Thank you for bringing this life to them and the pictures to us.

  7. REPLY
    Paula says

    Recuerdan cuando Scott comentaba del cambio que experimentan los elefantes luego de dos días, dos semanas, dos meses de llegados al santuario?❤
    Esto muestra exactamente sus palabras!!! Es así!!!
    Mara se ve cómoda, segura, integrada a la naturaleza, llena de vitalidad, con su lomo, como siempre, cubierto de tierra roja…
    Me llevaré estas bellas imágenes para soñar esta noche??❤

  8. REPLY
    Kyle says

    So glad Mara is feeling more comfortable in her surroundings!!!?? It makes me happy to see her being more comfortable and relaxed than in the past. Way to go Mara! #LiveWithTheBirds

  9. REPLY
    Heidi says

    Brave Mara! I can’t get over how beautiful it is there!!!

  10. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Mara is so relaxed! What a difference to just a few weeks back. Those birds are happy to stay close and so is Mara.
    I could watch them all day, so peaceful and free of fear and pain. I want this for all captive animals. There are so many elephants needing sanctuary. Just to see them happy and at their ease makes my day!

  11. REPLY
    Carey says

    Mara looks so peaceful and content, as does the lovely Rana, all credit to you all there, well done! One can not imagine the depth of their past life’s deprivation

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