Mendoza Update: Pocha and Guillermina Await a Final Permit

We know that many of you are eagerly awaiting more news about Pocha and Guillermina and, while this is not a huge status update, we want to share with you what we know about the ongoing process and plans for relocation. 

Things have been progressing well with the girls. As we shared in our last update, the two had to restart their quarantine testing;




the quarantine period should be finished in a few days and then Global Sanctuary for Elephants will be ready to go forward with the move. 

At the moment, we still don’t have a transfer date for Pocha and Guillermina. Their relocation requires a CITES export permit renewal, which we need to finalize our plans. We don’t know when the renewal will be processed, as we are waiting for the Argentinian agricultural ministry to complete the required paperwork. As soon as that has been finalized, we are ready and waiting to go. Please know that as soon as we have more information to share, we will do our best to let you know. 

Photo of Guillermina and Pocha at the Mendoza Ecoparque


  1. REPLY
    Melinda says

    Can’t wait to learn they are on their way to Sanctuary!!!

  2. REPLY
    Kenneth B. Newman says

    I hope that some Argentine bureaucrats are trying their best to get this elephant transfer done, and someone is NOT deliberately delaying the visit and transport…….

  3. REPLY
    Nicole P says

    So exciting. Can’t remember if you covered this, will they be in their own space for awhile? Do you have the have extra space? I know Lady and Maia are to themselves away from the rowdy group.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      They will be introduced to the group of elephants gradually, as the others have been in the past. That way, they will be able to show and tell us what they are ready for. We can make the necessary adjustments based on that.

  4. REPLY
    Merry says


  5. REPLY
    Eileen says

    Can’t wait til they get to you and have their first taste of freedom!

  6. REPLY
    Carol says

    Cannot wait to have these girls safe and on the road to healing and happiness! Fingers crossed all the red tape goes smoothly and rapidly.

  7. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman-Eaton says

    EXCITED! EXCITED! Cannot wait for Guillermina and Pocha to touch their feet on GSE soil and explore the habitat. Can one just imagine the conversations these two will have with each other getting ready , during the move, then after they actually know the paradise that awaits them. Thank you so much for the update.

  8. REPLY
    Linda says

    Still exciting news! Anxious for them to be on their way there.. but also feeling sorry for Tamy and Kenya. Looking forward to their trip too in the future! Thank you for all you do for ALL the animals at Sanctuary!

  9. REPLY
    Susan Flewelling says

    Thaks for the update. Looking forward to seeing this dynamic duo hit the road for home!

  10. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Thanks for the update can’t wait to see them in a safe and happy place

  11. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    When will Tamy and Kenya be coming to their new home and will they be ok staying behind for now

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We cannot provide a timeline for Tamy and Kenya, as both must be trained on behaviors and using crates. Tamy’s training cannot begin until Pocha and Guillermina are moved, as his current enclosure is not appropriate for that purpose.

  12. REPLY
    Susan says

    Thank you for the update! Happy that things are progressing. Love and hugs ❤️🐘❤️

  13. REPLY
    sandra says

    Really looking forward to them going to their new permanent home.

  14. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Great news! Little by little 🤞🏼 Thanks for the update.

  15. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    Thank you for this exciting news! As hard as it has been for us to wait, I’m sure it’s been way harder for all of you!!!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We continue to hope for more good news every day, as I’m sure you do as well. What is it they say – the waiting is the hardest part?

  16. REPLY
    Silvana Soranna says

    Es el Ministerio de Agricultura o el de Ambiente de Argentina el que debe completar trámites ? Eso sería la firma del CITES ? y si termina la cuarentena en unos días, estaría coincidiendo con los permisos completos ? Por favor, luz y apertura de caminos para estas dos hermosas cautivas que esperan “llegar al paraíso SEB”. Gracias por la paciencia y por tanto trabajo y amor en sus corazones SEB !! Vengan por favor !

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We are waiting for the Agricultural ministry, but we have not heard any new news from Ministry for Environment and Sustainable Development either.

  17. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    Thanks for the update. So excited things are progressing! These lovely girls have no idea what awaits them. Can’t wait for them to meet their new family and see what freedom and love feel like. 🐘🐘

  18. REPLY
    Deb says

    Such exciting news ! I’m very happy , and thank you for all your hard work!….. but also concerned for Tamy being left behind
    And not being able to see them through his gate any longer😞……. and of course for
    Kenya realizing they are gone also …..

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Tamy will be okay. He does not have a gate that opens into their enclosure and his limited contact with them is over a wall. The reality is that he will not be able to move until they move, so when they get transported it will be the best thing for him. Kenya is close enough to smell them, but is used to being alone in her enclosure as well. Each move brings the remaining elephants closer to their own freedom!

  19. REPLY
    Anita Janusz says

    Thank you for the photo and the update! It is so so exciting to know that all is nearly ready for their very much awaited transfer. There are thousands of people like myself eagerly awaiting that D Day. I always worried about the actual ride but I think both girls will treat it as huge adventure….new sounds, new smells, new sensations and maybe even new, exciting sights through the windows zooming by..:-)) And we all know what awaits them at the end of the trip…paradise…and a magical place like no other on this planet…:-) Could you please let us know are the girls ok with closing the containers doors? Are they both OK inside when they are contained? That is very crucial piece as well towards their relaxed transfers….THANK YOU! And please keep the news coming when you have it….my Easter looks so much brighter now…xoxoxox

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Both elephants are very used to their transport containers at this point. We are confident that they will do well when relocated.

  20. REPLY
    Pierrette Walraevens says

    Can’t wait to see both Pocha and Guillermina leaving to a much better place where they can live a Happy Life ❤️🥰🐘🐘🥰❤️

  21. REPLY
    Patricia says

    One of the many P & G fans still praying for a resolution soon and the mom and daughter happily larking about at Sanctuary Brazil! Still praying! xoxoxo

  22. REPLY
    Rosie says

    Absolutely fantastic news!

  23. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Good to hear baby steps but moving forward nonetheless! We’ve all been waiting patiently for this mom and daughter team that’s for sure so thank you for the update this will be quite an emotional moment when they arrive and take that first step on Sanctuary soil into paradise 💞

  24. REPLY
    Mike says

    But Kenya could have been trained, permitted and settled in the time you’ve taken to honor the process with Pocha and Guliimina. I’ll never understand why you didn’t move ahead with her when it became clear that the 2 girls will likely take years to get comfortable with the crate.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      There are many factors that come into play when deciding to transport and elephant or, in this case, two. The choice as to the order in which the elephants would be trained and relocated belongs to the ecoparque, not to GSE. When we began with Pocha and Guillermina, there was no female African habitat for Kenya to be moved into in Brazil. Even if the habitat had been completed, due to Covid, it took almost another year for us to receive all of the final permits. Pocha and Guillermina do well in their crates now and spend hours in them each day. The holdup remains the permit process. Once we are able to get through the bureaucratic jumble, Kenya would be the next elephant to arrive from Mendoza. She has learned some of the necessary behaviors and, we hope, will do well with her training.

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