Female Asian Elephant


Meet Mara


Mara is an absolute cutie. You look at her, and all you see is eyes...

… bright, golden, wide, and expressive; eyes different from most elephants. And everyone once and a while, when she stands very still and sticks them out, cute little ears. She’s a tall girl, she and Rana are about the same height, but she needs to build up some muscle. From the first day she met Rana, she has adored her and not let her out of her sight. Where you find one, the other is usually only a few steps away and comes running once they realize company has arrived. Mara continually checks in with Rana, calling her with deep reverberating rumbles, then has to touch, smell, and usually lift her front foot and touch Rana with it. Although Mara has met Maia and Lady, it’s still all about Rana. In time this will most likely shift, but for now, Rana is the sun.



Her right front wrist has a permanent injury that causes it to turn out and throws off her gait. She has some foot issues but is relatively healthy for her age. Emotionally she is insecure but seems to want to trust. After her dark past and bearing the label of ‘killer,’ this is not completely surprising. During her last year at the ecoparque, she had a team who was showing her what it was like to be accepted and adored, but after decades, elephants can have a hard time believing. She is trying to be communicative and cooperative with her new humans, even offering things when she’s not being asked for anything. Soon she will settle into the rhythm of sanctuary and realize life is now on her terms.


Read more about Mara in her diary.



56 years old



Forever Home

Elephant Sanctuary Brazil




Nugget, Marakins




She is vocal and cute as can be!




Ex-circus elephant. Resident of Ecoparque Buenos Aires (formerly Buenos Aires Zoo) for 25 years.




Chronic and recurring GI issues, which range from benign to serious. Some chronic foot issues.  She has an old permanent injury to her right front wrist.



Body Condition

Tall and skinny.  All eyes.




She loves to touch things with her feet, including Rana.


Her Story From Circus then Zoo...

Records indicate that Mara was born in India and sold to the Tiepark Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg, Germany. In 1970, she was bought and taken to Uruguay to perform in Circus Africa. A year later, they brought her to Argentina, where she was incorporated into the South American Circus.

In 1995, a decree was passed that prohibited the exploitation of animals in circus. On November 16th of that year, Mara arrived at the Buenos Aires Zoo as a judicial deposit. Mara was not alone upon arrival, Kuky and Pupy, two African female elephants, were already housed at the zoo. In 1993, at the age of three, they were brought to Buenos Aires. For 15 years, Mara, Kuky and Pupy shared a space, until an incident in 2010, which resulted in Pupy being pushed into the moat surrounding their enclosure. Since that time, whenever Mara is outside, Kuky and Pupy are inside, and vice versa.

Ecoparque Buenos Aires is currently in the process of rehoming a significant population of their animals, many to sanctuaries. This will allow them to focus on native species and education while expanding the habitats of the animals that will remain at the park. Kuky and Pupy will also be rehomed, the decision as to where they will be relocated has yet to be made.

Above photos: Mara at EcoParque Buenos Aires Sanctuary

Mara (with Rana) at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil

Ways to Support Mara

Adopt Her


We understand some elephants tug at your heartstrings, and Mara is no exception. If you would like to support our newest arrival because you are enamored with her sweet face, charmed by her innocence, or just want to welcome her to the sanctuary and show her she is loved- you can become her Ele-guardian.