Pocha and Guillermina Meet Bambi, Mara, and Rana

Now that Pocha and Guillermina have had interactions with Lady and experienced first touches with Maia, we were curious as to how they would react to meeting Bambi, Mara, and Rana – and vice versa. The opportunity presented itself when the three ladies were in Yard 4, neighboring Yard 3, where Pocha and Guillermina were spending time. 

We can’t be sure which group of girls saw the others first, but Pocha and Guillermina quickly came back to the barn after that first glimpse. The barn seems to be a safe space for them, so it makes sense that they’d want to touch base there and settle for a few minutes after a moment of excitement. That didn’t last long, though, as both went running back out toward the fence separating the two yards. There was a lot of rumbling, which sent Mara into the bushes for a while; she seemed to be the least excited about the interaction, though she did come back to greet them more than once. There was a bit of: elephants moving toward each other, away from the fence, and back again. 

After some tentative moves forward from their side, Rana and Bambi approached Pocha and Guillermina directly. It seems that Bambi was the first of the “Powerpuff Girls” to walk over and touch the other two, in a way that was very sweet and tender. Pocha presented the side of her body to the others, which is a passive form of introduction. She seemed to be leading the way and encouraging Guillermina to join the interactions. All-in-all, there was a nice mix of all the elements of social interaction: touching, smelling, different individuals showing submissive behaviors, greeting each other from the side, and from head on. No one was too invasive. 

The group of three didn’t always seem to know what to make of Guille’s vocalizations; Pocha was largely quiet during the series of interactions, except for a few quiet rumbles. At one point, after Guillermina did some talking, Bambi and Mara went racing back into the bushes where THEY started chatting – which caused Pocha and Guillermina to go back to the barn for their moment of reprieve from the excitement. The interactions had plenty of high energy moments which, though positive, still bordered on being a bit overwhelming at times. After decades of confinement, stepping away from so much activity helped keep them from being overstimulated.  

Eventually, the girls emerged from the bushes and went back to the fence for more physical interaction. Rana kept her signature calm, easy presence, encouraging Mara to stay using some soft rumbles, while also engaging with Guille’s vocalizations with her deep rumbles. It was fascinating to see how Pocha was the first to encourage the interactions with the three girls, but then stepped back a bit after Guillermina became more relaxed with the others. For the first time with all of their new experiences, Guillermina seemed to be more comfortable staying close for longer periods, while Pocha stepped away. Or, maybe this was a case of “mom knows best,” with Pocha seeing an opportunity to encourage her daughter to step bravely into relationships of her own, as a unique and separate individual. 

Throughout all of this, Maia was farther down in Yard 4 by the pond. Who knows – she may have been satisfied with her initial introduction or trying to give everyone their space for these first interactions. Lady was also close by, near the pond in Yard 5. She was very light and curious, but also kept her distance and later on walked deeper into the yard.  

In this video, you can see Pocha arriving at the fence line first, followed by Guillermina. Bambi approaches the fence, as Mara stays farther back. Bambi and Guille approach one another and Rana stands behind Bambi. Pocha eventually walks up to the front and stands sideways toward Bambi. In the background you can see Mara gently touching Guillermina. Through all of this, the guiding, calming spirit of Rana was just a step away to the right of the camera.


  1. REPLY
    Kayle says

    So, so touching to watch. Thank you.

  2. REPLY
    Barb says

    Simply fantastic! A dream coming true!!

  3. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    My heart melts.

  4. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman-Eaton says

    Oh my!! I could not be more proud of these girls. Kind of like watching a new kindergartener at school. Wanting her/him to mingle, be nice and make new friends. I still wonder like everyone else…….what are they thinking? What do these rumbles and low squeeks mean to each other. Pocha is such a wonderful mama. Seems always to be thinking of her girl. Love everyone of them, and their different personalities.

  5. REPLY
    Diane Duckworth says

    So happy they met and did ok hope they get to met more and accept every one as friendly 😊 so so happy they are all so beautiful cant wait to see them all together eating and enjoying company
    I’m so shocked at how good poca and Guillermina are accepting every change in the last few days they are awesome 😇😇

  6. REPLY
    Melinda says

    Wow, what a fascinating description of this wondrous interaction between all the sanctuary elephants! Can’t wait for the next chapter!

  7. REPLY
    Robin Kern says

    Oh WOW!!!!! Tears of joy at this beautiful meeting and the interactions!!! The tender trunk touches…the discovery of family!!! Guille had no way to know about herds…thanks for sharing!!!

  8. REPLY
    Andy says

    Lovely scene. A historical interaction for mum and daughter. 💞🐘🐘

  9. REPLY
    June Ross says

    My heart is singing!!!

  10. REPLY
    Zoi Flores says

    OMG! I’m weeping! Everyone has been waiting for this moment and there it is! Sooner than we thought. I’m so proud of all my girls. 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

  11. REPLY
    Julie says

    Big, beautiful herd! Joy joy joy!

  12. REPLY
    Alejandra Enquin says

    Que Emocionante!! Son tan inteligentes y sensibles .Mama Pocha gran madre con mucha psicologia! Dandole lugar a la nena.Y Mara habra pensado de lejos que eran Kuki y Pupi??

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      It’s doubtful. She definitely knows what different elephants smell like – and there’s a big difference between Asian and African elephants.

  13. REPLY
    Camilla Carter says

    So very happy to see this.❤🐘🐘🐘🐘🐘❤

  14. REPLY
    Susy says

    Que emoción que estén interactuando. Que belleza el relato..mientras leía me parecía estar ahí..entre ellas , sintiendo y disfrutando el encuentro. Gracias por narrar con amor y detalles.

  15. REPLY
    Lynn says

    Do you think the other elephants know that Pocha and Guillermina are mother and daughter?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      it’s impossible to know, but you would think there was a way that they could tell.

  16. REPLY
    Lynne Russert says

    So exciting!! So proud of all the girls taking this big step!!!!

  17. REPLY
    John says

    Considering the life P & G have had, this is simply amazing to watch.

  18. REPLY
    Charlotte Hansen says

    Scott’s voice is always so happy and upbeat, I’m guessing the ladies are encouraged whenever he’s around!

  19. REPLY
    Sandi says

    After watching this and thinking about what it means, this is so fantastic! I can’t imagine how Pocha and Guille feel, actually seeing other elephants and interacting after all this time alone. They’s doing so well, thanks for the videos Scott, they’re appreciated and you guys too.

  20. REPLY
    Rachel says

    I’m visiting family but had to stop for a few minutes of rest ( my husband and I are helping our daughter with renovations) and check in to see what’s going on with all the else at GSE. Couldn’t be happier to read the update and watch the video – twice. Lovely, lovely news. Back to work with a lighter spirit. Thank you! 💝

  21. REPLY
    John says

    This is just amazing to watch. For P & G, like going from solitary confinement to ……….. to…. I don’t know what, but certainly far from that. I’m feeling joy!!!!!

  22. REPLY
    Chelly Brainerd says

    This is my first time I have read your Blog on these Elephant’s , it has made me more interested in Mother an Daughter an their inter actions with others.

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