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Pocha and Guillermina Update

pocha & guillermina

Pocha and Guillermina, mother and daughter from Mendoza, Argentina, are our next two rescues. We are excited to share an update today!

Trainers Karissa and Chrissy have been issued visas for Argentina, which allows us to take the next steps. Once they receive their negative COVID test results (required for travel), they will be headed to Argentina to begin working with Pocha (age 55) and Guillermina (age 21) extensively. They will also spend time working with (and spoiling!) the other two elephants at Mendoza—Kenya (a female African elephant) and Tamy (a male Asian elephant). All four will eventually be re-homed with us in Brazil. Only Pocha and Guillermina will come on the first trip.

In addition to CITES permits, which are already in place, to move an elephant internationally, the elephant must undergo a 30-day, in-place quarantine with regular blood draws and trunk washes. Pocha and Guillermina are not fully trained for these behaviors yet. Karissa and Chrissy will use positive-reinforcement training to teach them these necessary behaviors. It’s hard to say how long the training will take, because it is entirely individual. That said, they sell FrootLoops in Argentina, which certainly helps. On her last trip, Guillermina became obsessed with FrootLoops. If Pocha was in a training session and earned FrootLoops, Guillermina would hear the bag crinkle and come running, even if she was in the middle of her own training session. Her mom was not allowed to eat FrootLoops without her. Karissa ultimately had to keep the FrootLoops in a bowl so Guillermina wouldn’t know when Pocha earned the best treats. Once Pocha & Guillermina are trained, they will begin their 30-day, in-place quarantine. Once that is complete, they are coming to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil to have the life they deserve. Guillermina was born in the pit, and she will see the world for the first time.

The needed training and required quarantine means we are still at least eight weeks from their arrival home, possibly longer. Excitingly, Karissa and Chrissy will be writing updates for social media. So while we can’t give you a date just yet, you can celebrate training milestone along with Karissa, Chrissy, and our entire team!

Photo of Pocha (left) and Guillermina (right).

Comments(37)

  1. REPLY
    Linda says

    Poor Guillermina.. it is going to be so wondrous for her to see the world ‘above’ the pit. I imagine it will be frightening for her as well. It is awesome that she will have her mom with her for support. It is going to be AMAZING!!! Can’t wait!!!
    I want them ALL to go!!!

  2. REPLY
    Nicole says

    How exciting!!! Much love and reiki for the trainers, training, and trip home!

  3. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    I am over the moon happy for this mother and daughter. Just imagine the sensory overload especially for the daughter, NEVER having seen anything outside this horrible looking place. Two more souls FREE in sanctuary! Thank you GSE. THANK YOU!🐘🐘♥️

  4. REPLY
    Julie says

    Love Guillermina already. We’ll have two puppies, Bambi and Guillermina! So happy and can’t wait!!!

  5. REPLY
    Barb says

    Fantastic news! Some “frootloops” to jump thru but moving ahead 😊❤️

  6. REPLY
    Sue says

    So excited!! Very interested, as always in seeing any videos that you will provide on their training and progress! And the Froot Loop story…who doesnt love Fruit Loops?? (Not me!). I was just thinking about this upcoming transfer and I was curious if you know how the Girls will be traveling as far as will they each have to be in their own crate for the trip? I will be interested to see and learn how that part of the journey will be handled. Thank you SO MUCH for the update! It is still awhile away, but not too much longer! Another miracle ❤️🐘🐘❤️

  7. REPLY
    John says

    Woooooooo hooooooo!

  8. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    This is so exciting. I can only imagine the reaction of Guillermina when she sees all the trees and grass and other elephants. Pocha going back to a world she knew before captivity. Wow this is huge!

  9. REPLY
    Lori Hoover says

    Such great news. Give that little girl a chance, the nose will know and that Fruit Loop in a bowl trick might not work, LOL I know, I know, it’s for the best that it does, though, the sooner they can perform their quarantine requirements, the sooner they will be on their way.

    I’m so glad to hear that Kenya and Tamy will get some attention as well. I was SO taken with Kenya and videos from the last training visit and fund raiser, and I can’t wait to have the chance to meet Tamy as well.

    Thanks so much.

  10. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    This is such exciting news. Can’t wait for mother and daughter to finally make it home to sanctuary where they belong. Looking forward to updates. YAY!!!!!!!!🐘🐘

  11. REPLY
    Jeri says

    Wonderful to hear!! Looking forward to updates ..

  12. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    GREAT NEWS❗️IM VERY INTERESTED IN SEEING HOW. 🐘GUILLERMINA SEES AND REACTS ACTS TO THE JUNGLE 🌴🌳WORLD HEAVEN SHE WILL LIVE IN THE REST IF HER LIFE!!👍. IT WILL ALSO BE INTERESTING TOMSEE HOW POCHA GETS ALONG WITH REST OF LADIES AND GUILLERMINA ALSO.I WONDER IF POCHA WIIL BE CLOSE AT ALL TIMES TO GUIELLERMINA OR LET THE BIG 19 yr OLD BABY GO OFF BY HERSELF EXPLORING!!
    FRUITLOOPS❗️ I ALWAYS THOUGHT THIS WAS REAL DRIED 🍎APPLES, BANNANAS! APRICOTS? IT SEEMS ITS THE FRUITLOOPS COLD CEREAL LITTLE COLORED NON NUTRITION THINGS! IS THIS CORRECT❓I GUESS THE LADIES NEED QUITE A FEW HANDFULLS TO SATIATE! DO THEY PICK THEM UP ONE By ONE TO EAT?
    PLEASE SEND A PICTURE OF FRUITLOOPS AND HOW THEY EAT AND ENJOY THEM SO MUCH! IT THINK IT WOULD BE A GREAT. AND COMICAL TO SEE😀👍
    THANKS VERY MUCH FOR THE UPDATE❗️

  13. REPLY
    Susan says

    The joy this brings to my heart is amazing! Thank you for this wonderful gift!

  14. REPLY
    Lila says

    Oh, these are GREAT NEWS!!!

  15. REPLY
    Vicky says

    More elephants are coming to sanctuary!!! I live for these rescues! Sending so many positive vibes.

  16. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Good news to hear mommy and her daughter together how awesome is that and please tell Karissa and Chrissy be safe and hurry up home

  17. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    Always so much happening a this Sanctuary to keep us on our toes. A mother and daughter is really something special as we know that now they will never be separated from each other. Are we having a fundraiser? I love contributing to a few miles to bring them home. or a few feet of fencing etc.

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      There is a fundraiser coming up soon, but it won’t be for their trip, that was already funded by our lovely supporters. This will be for something else. 🙂

  18. REPLY
    Sandy Crile says

    This is too exciting! I can’t wait for Tamy (and, of course Kenya) to be able to come to sanctuary. Tamy is going to be awfully lonely without his “wife” and daughter nearby.

  19. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Yes! It’s gonna happen!!! Safe travels to Karissa and Chrissy! Recalling looking forward to the uodates 🤗❤️🐘🐘❤️🤗

  20. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    That was supposed to say “Really looking forward”…

  21. REPLY
    Sallie says

    THE PUPPY POPULATION IS GROWING! YIPPEE! Reading the above comments, reminded me of a friend in Kenya, that had the responsibility of handling orphan elephants and their transition to the wild. He told me that elephants look at people they like, as “puppies”! Guess it’s our size, the love on our faces, and our eagerness to please them! No, he had no Froot Loops with him . . . I think there is a natural sponsorship potential from Kellogg’s, don’t you think! Go for it! Ya never know . . . And this is a great tie-in! P.S. They use natural fruit flavors, so the elephants are getting carbs, flavor, a bit of real sugar and energy! Win Win! I want to see the Front Loopers’ picture on a box! A series of them!

  22. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    I can’t begin to tell you how excited and happy I am for Pocha and Guillermina. Little do they know what awaits them. They will be reborn and Guillermina will see a world very unlike the one she was born into and lived in all her life.
    I’m happy for Kenya and Tamy who will get extra loving care while Karissa and Chrissy are there….a small taste of the life that will one day be theirs, too. We just have to be patient.
    Kenya and Tamy be proud of who you are. You are magnificent and very loved.
    Pocha and Guillermina….love will bring you home! (and a lot of hard work, of course!)

  23. REPLY
    Christine says

    Thanks for the update , look forward to following these two. Especially Gillomina the baby who has never seen outside of her concrete enclosure.

  24. REPLY
    Jillyp says

    Pocha and Guillermina you are going to a paradise. OMG how fantastic that you will have this chance to a more normal and happy life with VIEWS and FRIENDS and PONDS and TREES, long grass, soft ground, another pond, Itchy Scratchy tree, land to explore and undergrowth to ‘hide’ in. I cannot wait to see your arrival and reaction to it all and to see you gradually settle in and meet the other eles
    🚛 🐘🐘💜💜💜💦💦🍉🍉
    🌾🍃🌱🌳🐘🐘🌲🌱🌿🌳

  25. REPLY
    Carmen Dalziel says

    Woah this is exciting news! Question: does this mean Karissa and Chrissy are in Argentina now and the training has once again started? I can imagine it will be frightening for GUILLERMINA the first few months of sanctuary with not ever experiencing visuals other than concrete walls. Thankfully she has her Mama. Cant wait to see updates

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      No, we will let you know when they arrive.

  26. REPLY
    Carmen Dalziel says

    Nevermind the question. I just reread the post and realized we are waiting on COVID tests for the trip to begin

  27. REPLY
    Carol Anderson says

    I was mortified when I saw THE PIT these poor animals lived in. I actually cried. So this news is just wonderful. I am crying now because I am so happy. Bless yo.u all and good karma sent your way.

  28. REPLY
    Fiona Beaty says

    “COLD CEREAL LITTLE COLORED NON NUTRITION THINGS” — what a perfect description of Froot Loops!
    But if they make an elephant happy … 🙂

    Sanctuary is going to blow Guillermina’s mind!

  29. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    Roll on any Fundraiser. We are eager to a bit more, even though you say the money has been raised, we can always give a little more.

  30. REPLY
    s karg says

    nice to hear the news but wasn’t due death of Arturo the polar bear, that this came highlighted? just saying that was a long time ago and they are still there trapped?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      Our involvement with Mendoza had nothing to do with Arturo. We knew of him separately, but our knowledge of the elephants isn’t connected. And unfortunately, many rescues take years, even decades, it’s certainly not an easy process. We like to allow our supporters to be part of things from the beginning, so we have been discussing them for some time, but it is a very long and involved process.

  31. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Yep, kids love those Front Loops! A treat for the elephants too!

  32. REPLY
    Carey says

    very much look forward to the updates Karissa and Chrissy

  33. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    I feel so happy that some day soon they will be out of the concrete hole and will able to see green grass and trees and walk where ever they feel like going. They will be reborn.

  34. REPLY
    Sallie says

    I cannot wait for Pocha & Guillermina to arrive! They will both be so happy! They so deserve the kindness and love that GSE staff will give them! And get to know their new friends in gray, who know how to welcome them with respect and friendship. A truly momentous occasion! Yay!

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