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Mendoza Update: Pocha and Guillermina Inspect Their Crates

The crates for Pocha and Guillermina’s eventual travel to sanctuary arrived in Mendoza last week. It took a bit of maneuvering to get them into place, but they are set and mom and daughter have access to one of the containers during the day. Soon they will have access to both, so they won’t have to share. Right now, they are both slowly trying to determine exactly what they are seeing – touching, pushing, and smelling the transport container, mostly from the outside. Pocha did step halfway into one and grabbed a banana, but neither of them has explored all the way inside.

Generally, the first few days after we put the crates in place, we don’t actively try to get elephants to go in. Food will be put inside, but there is no official training or asking them to enter. As usual, we want the elephants to move at their own paces and to see the crates are harmless and nothing bad will happen if they touch or step into them. For now, we are providing casual access. Once they are more relaxed and trusting of the large new boxes, then we can encourage them to enter fully. 

We currently don’t have a specific date for quarantine to begin. It will last at least 30 days, and will be partially dependent on how quickly Pocha and Guillermina adjust to crate training and separation from one another. This is one of the most important dynamics of this rescue and they will be given the time needed to ensure their comfort as much as possible. 

One issue that we have not discussed until now is the impact that Covid-19 will have on our ability to transport them safely. Right now, the situation in Brazil is quite serious. Regulations on travel and safety change from day-to-day and cities are experiencing rolling shut downs. Border crossings are closing to casual traffic and tighter than ever (and understandably so) because of how dire the situation is in Brazil. We have to make sure that the health of our team also remains uncompromised. 

We will continue to update you as situations change and we have more solid information. Please keep everyone in Brazil in your thoughts, as well as Pocha and Guillermina. We are all ready to see them experience sanctuary as soon as possible. 

Photo: Pocha inspects the inside of a transport crate

Comments(25)

  1. REPLY
    Carol says

    Prayers going up for their rapid acclimation to being separated and in their own crate. If only they know what a utopia was awaiting them!!!

  2. REPLY
    Debra Moore says

    VERY excited to see this Mom and Daughter arrive for their new lives. Together.

    Safe travels, girls, life awaits.

  3. REPLY
    Patricia says

    What a wonderful video of those two precious dolls! I am praying for Brazil and for the safe transport of these girls. 🙏🥰🐘🥰🙏

  4. REPLY
    Dianna says

    How exciting for them, some new & different stimulation to prepare them for their journey. Can’t wait for their journey to Sanctuary. My prayers for everyone in Brazil to stay safe & healthy.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you. It is important to us that everyone involved (human and elephant) be completely safe in order for the elephant’s introduction to sanctuary be as seamless as possible.

  5. REPLY
    John says

    I need to start preparing myself to be totally overwhelmed emotionally for the day they arrive at sanctuary………..

  6. REPLY
    Jen says

    Such curiosity!
    I’m also curious.. how will the quarantine work? Will they be in the Parque in crates? Will they quarantine upon arrival to GSE? Thank you

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      All elephants are required to quarantine for 30 days before transport. They will not be in the crates during those 30 days. Essentially, because of they are cut off from much contact already, their lives will change very little. Their enclosure will be fenced off and only approved individuals will be allowed near them.

  7. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    VERY AWESOME TO SEE POCHA HAS FETCHED A BANANA 🍌 ALREADY👍 YES INDEED BE LADIES WILL BE SMELLING AND TOUCHING THE CRATES🚋🚋 QUITE ALOT! I WILL FEEL SAD WHEN 🐘POCHA IS SEPARATED FROM GUILLERMINA🐘BECAUSE THEY NEVER HAVE BEEN AND THEY WILL BOTH BE NERVOUS AND ANXIOUS, HOWEVER THIS MUST HAPPEN FOR THE CRATING AND JOURNEY!!
    OH YES I CERTAINLY AM AWARE THAT BRAZIL HAS BEEN OVERTAKEN WITH CORONA VIRUS IN VERY HIGH NUMBERS! SO SAFETY OF STAFF IS VERY IMPORTANT!❗️ IM PRAYING 🙏FOR THE PEOPLE OF BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA TO OVERCOME THIS HORRIBLE DISEASE! ALSO FOR POCHA AND GUILLERMINA NOT TO FEAR THE CRATES SO WHEN THE VIRUS IS IN CHECK THAT THE LADIES WILL BE READY! MAY GOD🙏 KEEP EVERY HUMAN SAFE AT BRAZIL SANCTUARY AND IN ARGENTINA🙏

  8. REPLY
    Alana says

    They are truly adorable!

  9. REPLY
    BC says

    Why didn’t you start the quarantine shortly after you got there so it’s done and you can leave as soon as they are comfortable with the crates?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We don’t change the official date of quarantine. There is an official agency that makes the final call as to when quarantine begins. As you know, there are lots of moving parts in place when it comes to rescue, so it will begin as soon as it is practically possible.

  10. REPLY
    Barb says

    It was a beautiful sight for us to see mom and daughter casually checking out the crate. We hear much about Brazil’s troubling Covid situation. We worry about all of you. We wonder too if you have access to a vaccine.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      The situation in Brazil is very serious and the vaccine distribution is going slowly. We don’t anticipate that we will be able to receive the vaccine any time in the near future. We hope that things will improve soon. Thank you for your thoughts.

  11. REPLY
    Nitka says

    So so amazing to witness the whole process. And yes, you guys have to do everything by the book. There are many more lives at stake to be rescued. My thoughts are with so many people in the whole world especially in countries most affected by this pandemic. Being in Australia we are so safe here with no covid at all…..so it feels like we are on another planet! Stay safe everyone…xoxo

  12. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman-Eaton says

    Exciting!! I wish the quarantine had been started after you arrived, but understand the date could not be changed. I cannot imagine how they are going to accept being separated, but hoping and praying for an easy transport. The first time they take their steps onto sanctuary ground, look around in wonder at their new paradise is going to be a truly awesome day with many tears of happiness shared across several countries.

  13. REPLY
    Beji says

    I hope that these lovely ladies soon realize that these are their magic carpet rides! Can’t wait til they reach sanctuary. Praying that this latest covid surge passes quickly. Stay strong!

  14. REPLY
    fernande poitras says

    je vous souhaite que tout ce passera bien autant pour les filles que pour vous et que rien de viendra déranger vos plans

  15. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    So exciting! I’ll be praying for total safety and good health for both humans and elephants, and safe and easy travel once that gets started.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you so much.

  16. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    My heart is in my mouth and pounding with anxiety over this move! These two SO need Sanctuary and the forces aligning to make this journey difficult are tremendous. I will be ever so relieved when the girls, your team and transport are all safe and sound at GSE.
    Our thoughts are with all of you, daily. Godspeed and a safe journey for all, when that time eventually arrives. ❤️🐘🐘❤️

  17. REPLY
    Sandy says

    We are so excited for the girls to get on the road but are also very concerned about how the situation currently in Brazil is going to impact everything GSE and P&G. Sending our prayers and wishes for less turmoil. And while we are anxious about the girls being separated for the trip (although parked near each other at night), which will be a challenge, we are feeling such sadness about Tamy being left there all alone and indefinitely at this point. Their situation and accommodations have been heartbreaking at best but will now be unbearable to witness.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you for your concern about what is happening in Brazil. We almost cannot emphasize enough how serious the situation is. As for the Mendoza elephants, because the quarantine and trip do not have an official start date, the three will all still be in their same places until the move begins. Once the ladies leave, we see a positive in that at least Tamy will be able to move into a much bigger habitat. He can begin his training, which means contact with others and mental and physical stimulation. All of that brings him one step closer to sanctuary. We are hoping for the best and planning for everything. And, of course, we will be providing regular updates for all of you.

  18. REPLY
    Terry Feleppa says

    Sending everyone safety and optimal health always!!! Constant Angel protection for mother and daughter for their smooth and comfortable transition.
    STAY SAFE! STAY HEALTHY! Thank you again for ALL you do!!!❤❤❤

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you for thinking of us during this very serious time. We appreciate all of the care and concern coming our way.

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