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