Mara Makes the New York Times!!!

Mara in the New York Times

Mara makes the New York Times!!!

We are very excited to share this New York Times article about how South America came together, against all the odds, to open the borders for Mara’s relocation to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. Although some of our friends have stated that they wished that GSE was mentioned by name, the highlight was where it should be, Mara, and the unrivaled initiatives of the city of Buenos Aires.

Several years ago, the city managed Ecoparque Buenos Aires convened with a special committee to examine their future. They determined that what they wanted for the animals under their care was not compatible with the foundation of “zoo” philosophy. Irrelevant to their devotion to the animals, and their desire to give them all that was in their power, they knew that the inherent restrictions and confinement of the former zoo did not equate to proper welfare and well-being. The Ecoparque set out to transform their model, closing the zoo’s doors, changing their name to align with their new vision, and actively seeking suitable sanctuaries for the majority of their animals.

The commitment of the city of Buenos Aires to make this transformation is significant beyond possible measures, it is inspirational, and it is the future. Yet, it is not enough for the zoos to change, our society as a whole needs to re-examine how we view the lives of animals, their value, and their happiness. We said it during Mara’s transfer, but it is worth repeating, this relocation above all others was the result of everyone, the drivers, the Ecoparque, the governments of Argentina and Brazil, the photographer whose images brought her transfer to the world and the team of Santuário de Elefantes Brasil, putting Mara’s needs first. All of these individuals and entities could have justifiably said no, the risks were too high in the middle of a pandemic. Instead, everyone said yes, Mara needs this, and we need to make it happen.

Throughout this journey, people reiterated, “together for Mara,” and while at that moment she was the focus, the impact was far more significant. Mara’s voyage to sanctuary elevated the Ecoparque’s commitment to positive change, which led to the City of Buenos Aires signing a decree to donate their two African Elephants to Santuário de Elefantes Brasil. Mara’s introduction to her new life at the sanctuary met an unexpected response from the usually passive Rana and an immediate bond that grows more beautiful with each passing day. And now, with this exposure in the New York Times, Mara’s story and the inspiring actions of the Ecoparque Buenos Aires will undoubtedly open hearts and minds to our global need to give back to these precious beings.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to making “Sanctuary” life possible for elephants and all animals in need. Their future is in our hands; let’s make it one worth celebrating.

August 9, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Thomas DiCarrado says

    Scott, you give me hope during very dark days, thank you.

  2. REPLY
    Linda L. says

    Wonderful to see her story in such a far-read newspaper.. hopefully it will encourage readers to go looking the Sanctuary up online, and so to GSE.. and a donation! But it would be enough to just widen awareness of the situation of these elephants and the other animals currently incarcerated in inappropriate conditions. The world is turning in its attitude about zoos, circuses etc. but not nearly fast enough.. not nearly. Every article like this one helps the cause and maybe, just maybe, will make the ‘next one’ even easier to accomplish. I shed quite a few tears reading it. Thank you for all you do. Your good Karma is immeasurable.

  3. REPLY
    Wim says

    Everybody loves MARA. That’s a very easy phrase but she has her ways to melt hearts and make alignments where she walks. The difficult message is if humanity doesn’t bow to Elephants and wildlife in general the future of the world as we knew it is in grave danger.
    Zoonotics will march in wherever natural habitat and animal homes are destroyed.

  4. REPLY
    Sherry says

    The story of Mara and all animal sanctuaries is the beginning of education for all humans to learn the cruelty and endurance of
    God’s creatures. God WILL judge us all by how we treated his creatures.
    Thank you GSE for your love and caring of God’s creatures and their stories so that we can learn how we can all be good
    stewards to our animals all around the world!???❤️

  5. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    A beautiful, heartwarming article about precious Mara. True words that I wish every zoo across the world would believe…that our society as a whole needs to examine and view the lives of animals they are the stewards of. Their happiness, their pain, their daily existence. Is it normal for them? Or is it all about the humans that keep them in captivity. Thank you GSE for being the wonderful stewards you are to these precious souls.

  6. REPLY
    Paula says

    Si la historia de Mara y la pandemia sirven para inspirar, recapacitar y crear conciencia en personas aún enajenadas al sufrimiento de los animales en cautiverio, es una poderosa y esperanzadora luz en tanta oscuridad sobre este tema.
    Aún le falta mucha conciencia a esta humanidad… ¿Por qué todavía existen los zoológicos? Y ¿ Por qué los zoológicos se empecinan en seguir reproducir animales en cautiverio? Lamentando luego sus muertes prematuras…
    Deseo que el alcance de este artículo traiga muchos más seguidores y donaciones al santuario!❤
    Ojalá se pudiera abrir en Argentina una cuenta bancaria local del santuario, aquí tenemos restricciones gubernamentales para comprar dólares y es muy difícil realizar transferencias al exterior. Si se lograrán , estoy segura que mucha más gente podría donar al santuario!???

  7. REPLY
    Leslie Sodaro says

    I would have recognized that schnoodle anywhere!

    and a great job done by everyone who invest time, money, labor and HEART into getting Mz Mara to the great life she is knowing now.

  8. REPLY
    Nishant Bhajaria says

    Mara’s journey represents a small step forward for humanKIND 🙂

  9. REPLY
    SALLIE says

    Whoop whoop whoop! Great pr! I saw the press release earlier today, bravo! The world needs to know what you all do for elephants! Miz mara is a great representative! Everyone all over the world knows her story and yours now, as an important working sanctuary along with the needed detailed attention to rescued elephants. There is a ton to be proud of . . . Congrats!

  10. REPLY
    bo says

    This is indeed very very amazing great news. Esp in these digi-times when so so many people have internet access and those who wouldn’t read or get in touch with certain news, now might catch a glimpse and share or tell it to others!
    It might convince other people to help, donate, support in any way they can so yes, great news that the amazing effort of the team in Brazil has made it to the New York Times!

    The message I think is that love –no matter if it is for a human, for an animal, for nature, in this case, for elephants– for some people has no limits and Scott & Kat and all the others who help, care for the elephants are those people!

    For us followers&elephant lovers, at least for me, you are heroes!

    Wonderful news!!!

  11. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Mara’s story is one of enlightenment.
    With so much cruelty happening all over the world, it is truly uplifting to know that so many organisations and Governments and human voices came together to make Mara’s journey to sanctuary happen. It was incredible. It gives me hope for the future of the human race. If we can behave in this way to our fellow creatures, who share our planet and have every right to be here, then there might be hope for us all. Mara’s new life begins and we can all feel proud of this achievement…that she was put first.
    Their future really is in our hands and I shall always walk by their side every day of my life, and beyond. XXXXXXXXXX

  12. REPLY
    Heidi says

    Oh wow! I watched all of you move Mara every step of the way via your updates. And now to see it in the New York Times with all the extra photos and information. I was literally in tears by the end of the article. What an amazing accomplishment. I knew when I stumbled on your sanctuary a few months ago that you were the place I wanted to follow and support. Congratulations for the wonderful legacy you have already created!

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