Things continue to shift in both Brazil and Argentina as a result of Covid restrictions and safety regulations. Our trainers Chrissy and Karissa have returned to their homes in the US. We are grateful for their long-term stay in Argentina, but we know they have lives of their own that are important. Additionally, there was some urgency in arranging their trips out of Argentina. Flights are being frequently canceled; at this time, there are few flights to the US per week – which are often fully booked up to a month and a half in advance. Because we did not know if these flights would continue and we are unable to predict how road and border closures may change, everyone felt it was important that they leave for the moment.
Throughout their stay, our trainers worked with staff at Ecoparque Mendoza and those caregivers and veterinarians feel comfortable moving forward with the rest of Pocha and Guillermina’s quarantine. Both elephants have already completed some of the required testing and treatments. There are still items on the list that must be completed, but our trainers and the ecoparque staff created a solid plan to address what remains to be done.
We continue to be in contact with the ecoparque, getting updates on Pocha and Guillermina and the procedures for moving forward. Once their staff have been able to finish the rest of the requirements for quarantine for Pocha and Guillermina, they can concentrate more on crate training and separation.
All of us knew that preparing such a unique pair of elephants for sanctuary would be an extraordinary and unpredictable challenge. The issue of separation has been and will continue to be addressed in a way that is safe and healthy for both mother and daughter. As much as we want both elephants to see sanctuary, rushing their quarantine and transport could potentially cause more trauma – which is exactly what we want to help them heal from. We know you anticipate their arrival as much as we do, but you also understand that elephant wellness always comes before our own desires – and that is why you support us the way you do.
Pocha and Guillermina are safe and being cared for. The reality is that they will remain in Argentina until we can guarantee that we can get not just people, but also transport crates with the elephants safely into Brazil. We must take heart knowing that they are in the care of individuals who want the best for them and share a common goal: getting both ladies to ESB so they can experience freedom and all the possibilities that come along with that.