Rana’s Rescue: The Drive

Rana at the hotel zoo

Another question we have received about Rana’s rescue is how long will the drive take and do we let her out to stretch her legs. The drive should be between 4 & 5 days, (less time than the Toronto elephant move-for those who watched that one) but this will ultimately be determined by Rana, how she travels and how she is feeling. Rana was a circus elephant for at least 40 years, and generally circus elephants travel pretty well.

As for letting her out of her crate during the trip, that will not happen, she stays inside the entire trip. You won’t find a rescue to sanctuary in the Americas that allows the elephants to leave the trailer. Many people are familiar with rescues in Asia that happen in open top trucks with pit stops on the side of the road. That is due to a different culture, different upbringing for the elephants and different legalities.

Elephants in Asia live a much different lifestyle, from the way they are controlled, their exposure to crowds and strangers and the way they are perceived. No one blinks at an elephant on the side of the road in many places that have elephants in Asia. If we were to stop on the side of the road and let an elephant out, it would cause a traffic jam with people wanting to stop and take a selfie.   Aside from that risk factor, Rana could simply decide to walk away and not go back into the trailer.

Although she will not be able to leave the trailer, it is designed specifically for elephants to be able to lean and take the weight off of their feet. It’s not the same as lying down, but you have to remember, sadly, many elephants go years without lying down in captivity. So a few days standing in a truck will be ok. And we have support straps recessed into the floor, so if for some reason she needs additional support, it is already in place and ready to go.

Rana will be tired when she arrives, and because of this, Maia and Guida will most likely be closed out of the area we give Rana access to. Depending upon the time of our arrival, if late, Rana will probably only have access to the barn so she can rest without the excitement and stress of meeting elephants for the first time possibly since she was a baby. This may be a little disappointing to some, but it’s about what is best in the long run for Rana and the beginning of her new relationship with Maia and Guida. All elephants arrive tired, some quite cranky, so we give them some time on their own to get their feet underneath them and feel a bit more like themselves.

December 12, 2018

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  1. REPLY
    Susan says

    The fence at the motel seems quite flimsy. Rana never tries to leave? Does she show any interest in her caretakers? Do you feel she is depressed? It is going to be heartbreaking and enthralling to see how it unfolds for her with the girls. Bless her heart. So many years wasted as a prisoner.

    I have followed your sactuary from the time you had no elephants and never doubt that exactly the best thing to be done, will be done. I have every confidence that you are angels sent to earth to help these beloved amazing souls. Your posts inspire and educate. I look forward to each and everyone.

    BTW…I signed up early for the PAWS conference in Burbank in November and counted the days until I could actually be there with Scott and all the other attendees but alas, the fires kept me at home with my cats ready to evacuate which we finally had to do. I was so disappointed on so many levels. Terrible timing for this devastation. Next time I will be there if it is meant to be!

    Wishing you the happiest of holidays. You have bring so much into my life – including patience!

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      Hi Susan, the fence at the hotel is not adequate and doesn’t always hold her in. We don’t know any of her caregivers, we have only dealt with her veterinarian and he may in fact be her main caregiver. He does care deeply for her and is glad she will be going to sanctuary. She responds when people are around, but isn’t super engaging. She’s generally quiet, but there isn’t a lot of stimulation in her life.

      I’m sorry you weren’t able to get to the PAWS conference, but hoping that you, your home and your kitties all made it through ok. It’s a big reason to not be able to go. It’s always nice to be able to put faces to names and meet people who are the reason we can do what we do. There will always be another chance, and safety is definitely more important.

      Happy Holidays to you as well, we’re glad you enjoy the girls and their stories.

  2. REPLY
    Sara Dollins says

    Thank you so much for this insight .. Sending much love to Rana ?travel safe sweet Rana ?

  3. REPLY
    Sherry says

    God will truly bless you for taking care of his creatures!!!

    Love and hugs to you all and for all you do!! Thank so very much from the bottom of my heart!!

  4. REPLY
    Susan says

    I agree with the comments above, you are truly ele-angels here on earth, destined to help these beautiful souls. I, too, read all your posts and look so forward to them. Thank you for the way you include us in all the things you do and for allowing me to feel so connected to Maia, Guida, and Rana. I can never find the right words to thank you for that, but it has been such an incredible gift to me.

  5. REPLY
    Erika says

    There is no long the santuary was campaign for an animal that would come from Chile. I sent email asking about that case and no response came back

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      Hi Erika, I’m not sure why you didn’t receive a response, I personally respond to every email and message that comes here, including comments on Facebook. Staying connected with our supporters is very important to us. Ramba is still in Chile and still waiting for her CITES permits to be approved by Ibama Brasilia. We now have an international team working on getting the permits pushed through, not just for Ramba, but for the elephants in Argentina that are also stuck waiting because of delays with permits. We raised only about half of what is needed for Ramba’s rescue, but will not continue fundraising until we have her import permit.

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