Pocha and Guille Step Cautiously Into Yard 4

This week, Pocha and Guille took what is, for them, a big step in expanding their comfort zone within the sanctuary. For the most part, they’ve been content to remain in the three yards closest to the barn – not really looking past those boundaries. Now they are sensing there is more to this new home and gradually looking up and out at what else there is to see. 

With Pocha leading the way, the two began inching into Yard 4 – going in, then back out, then in again. They seemed unsure at first about how far they were willing to venture from their home base by the barn. Guillermina appeared more hesitant than Pocha to remain in Yard 4, crossing back into Yard 3 a number of times. We watched from afar as both of them stayed in Yard 4 for over an hour. They are still learning to navigate the terrain, sometimes bumping their backs into the lower branches of trees. There will be more land and topography to explore and learn about as they become more comfortable with the idea of moving further into the habitat. 

In the meantime, it is nice to know Pocha and Guille feel that they can still return to the barn as their “safe space.” Exploration then retreat is the norm for these two, so this tentative expansion of horizons is the next logical step for them. Even though they may not be charging forward with the confidence some may wish, they are learning what makes them comfortable and growing at a rate that’s healthy for them.

Photo: Guillermina (left) and Pocha (right)


  1. REPLY
    Leslie Sodaro says

    I am blown away with how much they have accomplished in the short time the have been there. Good on them! and many thanks to all who made this new life and every accomplishment sweet victory for our two new girls.

  2. REPLY
    Melinda says

    It’s so wonderful that their natural curiosity to explore is triumphing over their fear! Everything will constantly become more awesome for this duo!

  3. REPLY
    Katherine says

    How lovely. Seems that Pocha takes the lead in new exploration and that Guille takes over once she feels safe. So great they are also eating grass, straight from the ground! Thanks for all that you do.

  4. REPLY
    Cintia Abney says

    Oh lovely ladies.. you will figure it all out, we promise! 😍

  5. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    If I were locked in a cell for forty years (or my entire life!), I think I would alternate between a cycle of exuberance/overwhelmed/fearful, and ‘round again. To me, it’s fabulously stunning that they are as willing to venture out as they seem to be! ❤️🐘🐘❤️

  6. REPLY
    Pam says

    So great to see Pocha and Guille taking these next (literal) steps! What a blessing, this sanctuary and everyone involved, for such gentle support of their gradual and joy-full expansion into new life. Thank you!

  7. REPLY
    Julie says

    It seems they are actually being very brave in their exploration considering their past circumstances. Thank you for your expert encouragement, ESB! Does Lady have current access to yard 4? I’m wondering about the possibility of a tentative meet-up.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      No – Lady is currently in Yard 5. We don’t tend to open the gates between her and the other girls unless she indicates that she is comfortable with that, and she generally seems not to be. She could possibly always be fearful to be in the yards with others because of her feet and feeling like she couldn’t get away if she wanted/needed to.

  8. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Their journey is new and adventure exciting! I am so happy for them. When they relax and feel secure there at ESB and from being away from the only home they knew they will venture far away!!!

  9. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman-Eaton says

    My heart absolutely sings for these two explorers. Doing what they feel comfortable, on their own time, and taking giant steps for them, but to us looking from the outside in it may seem like baby steps. To think it has been less than a month. WOW! So thankful for GSE. Once again, you prove #sanctuaryheals.

  10. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    Very exciting to see they’re stepping out a bit more! I didn’t expect they would be progressing even this fast–not knowing what to expect, I was so afraid they would be cowering together in a corner of the barn in total fear. Thank you for your kind and diligent care of them and the others and your expertise in knowing what their needs are.

  11. REPLY
    Patricia Aguilar says

    What immense courage after a lifetime of confinement to step into the beyond. Elephants are amazing.

  12. REPLY
    KM says

    Their journey is a pot of gold in emerging news. It really brightens my spirit to hear the details of their experiences. I think all of our souls are touched. Elephant and human alike. I am so happy for all of the girls.

  13. REPLY
    June Ross says

    My heart sings for these two yet again!

  14. REPLY
    Zoi Flores says

    Adorable! It’s a new adventure each day for P&G, and each day without knowing it, these two girls put a wonderful smile in their followers’ face & heart.

  15. REPLY
    Wim says

    They are marvelous scouts. Wish them many amazing exploration trips.

  16. REPLY
    Diana Weyland says

    A mi me asombra que se animen a tanto en tan poco tiempo. ¿Quién sabe que puede o no puede percibir Guillermina después de construir su mundo en un recipiente de cemento? ¿Podrá a esta edad desarrollar un mundo más allá de unos pocos metros? Es una maravilla que ambas puedan investigar ese mundo lejano para ellas. No sé más sobre la historia de Pocha.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We don’t know a lot about Pocha’s story from before she was at Mendoza either. But the story of her life that she creates from today forward will be her own, for once.

  17. REPLY
    Beth says

    So precious. They could be totally resistant to open spaces given their history. We are all so proud of them! So many wonders for them to enjoy when ready and at their own pace. God bless them!!💞

  18. REPLY
    connie says

    wonderful, so happy for these beautiful ladies! you guys are the absolute best!!

  19. REPLY
    Jenny says

    So, where are the other girls when P and G are in yard 4 and Lady is in yard 5?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      The other girls are also in Yard 4, though not always close.

  20. REPLY
    Terry says

    They are free and that is enough!!! All of these exciting adventures are extra bonuses!!!❤️💥❤️💥You go girls!

  21. REPLY
    Benita Auge says

    Even if they never got beyond Yard 3, they are still free to make those decisions for themselves and not have a human tell them where and when to eat and where to roam. If you’ve never had to make decisions for yourself, it takes time to learn the process.

  22. REPLY
    Carole Kramer says

    Such great progress in so short a time. They are brave girls! Love them to bits and cannot wait to see them wallowing in the pond! You go girls!! 🐘❤️💙🐘💜💚🐘

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