Rana Expresses Her Joy to Mara

Volume up but maybe not too loud. 😉

OK, so here is the first of the videos that Scott promised you. I will preface this again with- this is not aggression; this is a level of joy that is so intense Rana does not know how to process it. I will post links to other videos that show Rana’s first moments with other elephants so you can see how she usually is. This is very different for her, and part of why we think it’s possible that they crossed paths at some point in the past. We don’t know this for sure, but it is a possibility. The only other time Scott has seen elephants respond like this upon introduction in his 30+ years working with elephants was when Jenny and Shirley recognized each other after many many years.

The barn is open to outside. Either Mara or Rana could come and go as they pleased. We always like to give them the choice to stay or go, so at any time during this interaction, Mara could have walked away. She was surprised by a noise or two, but she not only chose to stay, but towards the end, was still interested in going closer and backing up to Rana. Both girls vocalize throughout the video. All of the squeaks are Mara (on the left side of the barn), all of the trumpets are Rana, but Mara also bellowed a bit throughout.

While the noises are loud, the vibrations are much more intense. Their deep rumbles vibrate your entire body. One of our staff that was welding up the hill felt it and shut his machine off to see what was going on. Only then could he hear the elephants. There is so much emotion that goes into the noises you hear, and it’s beautiful. Rana is our reserved girl, patient and gentle; to see her express herself in such a way shows how much she is feeling.

Those of you who saw the afternoon live feed know that the next interaction was much quieter and calm. We will put together a video of that as well, so people get a better glimpse of their first touches with each other. ❤️

One last thing, we love to answer questions, but won’t be coming back to this post this evening. We have a lot of catching up to do with videos and comments from earlier in the day. And elephants, Alma, and Milo to take care of at the end of the night.

May 16, 2020

Links to Rana’s first moments with Maia and Guida and Ramba:


  1. REPLY
    Carol says

    Omgggggg. Wowwwie kazowieeeee!!! This is amazing!!!! ??????????

    • REPLY
      Wim Diepeveen says

      Rana’s thinking Oh Mara you’re here too. Where have you’ve been all these years.
      When sisters meet it can be rather beautiful voicing. ?❤️??❤️

  2. REPLY
    Susan says

    So incredible and beautiful!!!! ❤️?❤️?❤️

    • REPLY
      Sheila says

      Oh so fabulous!‼️im sure the ladies rana and mara know each other‼️ the talking to each other is so intense and lovely happy sounds❗️I pray they will be in sister ❤️love very soon and hanging out close touching and roaming about in the jungle? swimming dusting snoozing chatting‼️ they each truly need each other❤️

  3. REPLY
    Debbie Sides says

    Absolute joy! Love this. They’re both so cute together. Awe happy girls!

  4. REPLY
    Nishant Bhajaria says

    These elephants are so beautiful. We don’t deserve them.

  5. REPLY
    June Ross says

    TOTALLY AMAZING! I am dripping tears here!
    Thank you so much for allowing us to share this time….

  6. REPLY
    Tammy says

    This is so incredible you can tell there is some sort of connection between those two girls it’s in their sounds you can see it wow so amazing to watch and listen wish we knew exactly what they were saying but there’s definitely something between them I’ve never seen this between any of the other girls like this before! Thank you for sharing this uplifting video it’s a keeper for sure can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings these two are moving fast enjoy your night together catching up ?? here’s to many new beginnings ? ?

  7. REPLY
    Carey says

    It really does seem as if they know each other omg! It must have been so beautiful to hear and watch up close. I’m speechless. also makes me realise that with all these elles have so much history unknown to you or us, some of it very damaging, and you have to slowly get to know all their complexities . Its a big job, very much look forward to your updates. Thank you!

  8. REPLY
    Jillyp says

    Thank you so so so so much for filming these joyful and emotional moments, this is fantastic to see. I’m so absolutely overjoyed that they may know each other – I can’t imagine why else this would mean so much to Rana. She is such a beautiful girl, just look at her face, I adore her ❤️ Mara must be feeling all sorts of emotions that she doesn’t recognise but once she has settled in she will literally think she has landed in heaven ???

  9. REPLY
    Sherry says

    These 2 elephants are saying, I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my soul today! Thank you GSE for allowing me to experience such joy!!!!!

  10. REPLY
    Jean Tryon says

    I hesitate to ask this question right now [so much excitement between Mara and Rana!] but here goes. Has there ever been any danger that one of the girls might reach out with their trunk and grab onto a human arm or hand and try to pull them through the fence? They ARE wild animals, after all.

    • REPLY
      EleComposer says

      Yes, of course. It’s protected contact but that still doesn’t mean we can’t get ourselves killed. It’s why in the areas that we do medical care and footwork, there are more bars to make essentially the speed with which they could actually reach out much slower. But it is why we don’t just let people start working directly with elephants right away. There is a big learning curve and most things are initially done from a distance because you have to not only learn elephant behavior in general but learn every individual as well. You have to learn to watch facial expressions, body position if they shift their weight at all to indicate they are going to move in some way. It’s watching every little muscle in the body essentially to try to avoid things like that. The way we are with one elephant isn’t the way we are with another, and each individual is different with how they are with each elephant. Maia has only maybe in the past 6 months become as passive with her trunk as she is at this point. She’s generally a grabby elephant, not necessarily to hurt someone, but she’s just in general high energy, big energy, fast movements – it’s just who she is. So only lately have we gotten a little more relaxed with how she is with her nose. As for Rana and how she was so excited, we backed way off with her. She was trying to reach out for reassurance from us, but we simply told her you are way over the top for us right now. Little humans; big elephant. It wasn’t until she calmed down that we allowed her to interact with us that way again. So yes, if at any point our judgment is off and we get too close and do something stupid, yes, we can all be pulled in.

  11. REPLY
    Julie says

    Glorious. Sounds like the pure joy of living! I have felt how that sound goes through your body when you hear it. It’s almost as if you can see the sound and feel it with your hands, but at the same time it doesn’t hurt your ears; it’s not loud in that way. It’s hard to describe! I’m talking about when I heard the sounds elephants make when a male is trying to mate with a female. The entire herd gets worked up and noisy. I heard this at the SD Zoo Global Safari Park. So glad these older females can still feel the excitement of life!

  12. REPLY
    alana says

    Good Morning, Did I miss something? Is that a photo of Rana & Mara together on Facebook? Did I miss a video of them coming together? Sure looks like Rana on the right & you said Mara is bigger, so maybe? If it is a photo of them together, YA!

    • REPLY
      EleComposer says

      It sure is!

  13. REPLY
    alana says

    WOW! I’m so happy, had hoped it would go this easy & fast.

  14. REPLY
    Jean Tryon says

    Thank you so much for your detailed answer to my trunk-grabbing question. I assumed it was something like that. One hand, an elephant is just being a huge elephant doing her thing emotionally. OTOH, she might really need/want assurance from a caregiver. You guys, as caregivers, gently ‘insist’ to the emotional one that “because you got yourself into this, you really must calm down… so figure it out.” Very psychological!!

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