Our latest #MendozaMail from Chrissy –
Elephants can be very vocal, and on this particular morning Pocha and Guillermina had a lot to say!
Pocha is a mother to Guillermina, but I’d venture to say that, due to their circumstances, their relationship is stronger than mother/daughter. They are each other’s best friend, sources of comfort and security, constant (sometimes pesky) roommate… they are each other’s entire world. They almost have to be, as they don’t have much else. Needless to say, they are highly in tune with one another, for better or for worse.
This morning, Karissa and I arrived to much commotion coming from Pocha and Guillermina’s enclosure. Trumpeting, squealing, gate banging, and running around like banshees! What was going on??
The answer is… (drum roll please) … we have no idea.
Elephants can hear and smell stimuli way beyond the human range. Maybe they are hearing or smelling something we cannot? Perhaps a small rodent or animal was in or near their enclosure? Maybe something happened between them before we arrived? There was nothing we could see or detect that would cause such a reaction. Although we’ll never know what started the commotion, it’s fascinating to watch them calm each other down. Squeaks, squawks, urination, gently touching each other’s mouths and bodies as if to say, “Whoa! That was SUPER scary or super exciting, but everything is alright now. I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine, just like we always have.”
Pocha and Guillermina’s relationship is very special, and I’m so glad they’ve had each other all these years. As trainers, Karissa and I will be diligent about making sure they are comfortable being apart from one another during their transport to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. We take comfort in the knowledge that this separation will be temporary, and great delight in the knowledge they will be exploring their new life in sanctuary together. Their lives are about to change in a big way and they will have each other’s backs, just like they always have.