Mara Shines Through Her Challenges

Mara continues on her upward trajectory of healing since her bout of gastrointestinal issues and bloating a couple of weeks ago. Knowing how these episodes can repeat themselves, and healing takes its own path, we are happy with how Mara has been these past days. Although she looks good, we cannot become complacent in our care and evaluations of her health.

She continues to receive a variety of medications, from traditional to integrated, and her diet is weighed out and tracked, along with any shifts in behaviors. She is eating hay and grazing very well, which is the most important part of any captive elephant’s diet. Ideally, elephants should process food in constant movement through their system. 

Though she continues to be picky, that is the Mara we have always known and can work with. Her specific and somewhat demanding side is something that is quite charming and lets us know she is doing okay. Yesterday afternoon, Guilherme called Mateus on the radio and you could hear Mara requesting faster delivery of her food. Although Mateus was still offering her food while talking, apparently it wasn’t quick enough. And how can you not smile about that?

Just after dinner the other night, we were out by the three, planning an up-and-coming project. It was one of those moments that erased all of the other nonsense of the day and everything felt right. Whether it was that magical pre-sunset lighting, the beauty of our surroundings, or just the obvious loving bond that Mara, Rana, and Bambi share, we don’t know. But Mara didn’t appear sick or tired, she was radiant, affectionate, a little silly, and it made the rest of the world fade away. We know they won’t live forever, but we also know this home allows them to rediscover pieces of themselves they have been missing for decades.

Photo of Mara with Bambi in the background


  1. REPLY
    Sue says

    Beautiful photo of our Sweet Miss Mara, she has gorgeous eyes ☺️ . And, I might be mistaken, but it looks like Grandma Bambi is having quite a giggle near by!! Thank you for sharing this moment with us. I know you will continue to watch over all of the Sanctuary residence and so appreciate your love and care for them. ❤️?❤️

  2. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Happy day for sure so much to be thankful for, Love and hugs from Minnesota ? ?

  3. REPLY
    andrea simonetti says

    quanto amor! que trabalho maravilhoso! obrigada!

  4. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Thrilled to hear this! There’s an old song/saying? “There’s a dance or two in the old dame yet!” ? ❤️?❤️

  5. REPLY
    Carol says


  6. REPLY
    John says

    I nominate the staff of the GSE for humanitarians of the year!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We thank you – but we know we are the lucky ones to be here at sanctuary.

  7. REPLY
    Julie says

    Thank you. You transported me to that lovely moment! So happy for whatever beautiful time Mara has at sanctuary and with her deep bond with Bambi and Rana. Every day counts! ?❤️

  8. REPLY
    Wim says

    Every day they survive together feels like paradise Island. Hope is the one thing that is stronger than fear.

  9. REPLY
    Beji says

    Mara needs to get GrubHub on speed dial! So glad she’s just being an elephant!

  10. REPLY
    Andrea says

    Curious? What does an impatient elephant sound like? Squeaks? trumpety sounds? Something else?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      In the case of Mara wanting her food delivered faster, she just squeaks at whoever is feeding her. And if you don’t respond, she squeaks louder and longer.

  11. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    What a beautiful post! I’m so hoping Mara has a lot more time in sanctuary–in fact I hope they all live to be Shirley’s ripe old age at least!

  12. REPLY
    Carey says

    A lovely post thank you.

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