Photo: Mara at EcoParque Buenos Aires taken by ©Tomás Francisco Cuesta



Her quarantine has begun and she is so close to a life of sanctuary.

Mara is the sweet but insecure grandma that currently resides at Ecoparque Buenos Aires. As part of the conversion of the zoo to an ecological park, Mara is being transferred to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. The city is paying for her relocation, but there are still expenses that need to be covered. As part of the ‘beginning to end’ care that we provide for each of our elephants, Scott and our team will go to Buenos Aires several days before Mara’s trip to the sanctuary. They will help prepare the last steps, get Mara loaded up and care for her throughout her journey home. Please help ensure Mara’s safe relocation by covering the costs to get Scott and the rest of the team to Buenos Aires and then back home again with our newest lovely lady.

The goal includes the cost of the team’s airfare, hotel stay in BAs, rental vehicle, gas, food, and lodging during the trip. The total will also cover any additional needs for Mara along the way (watermelon, sugarcane, etc). Anything over the goal will be put towards her care at the sanctuary, including supplies for her daily foot treatments.

Photo: Mara at EcoParque Buenos Aires taken by ©Tomás Francisco Cuesta



Goal: $7270




$13,413 of $7,270 raised
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*** All funds raised over the goal will go towards Mara’s care at sanctuary.  This will include supplies needed for her foot treatments and other necessary care. Thank you!


Mara's rescue map


If we haven’t answered your question here, please feel free to contact us at

Why aren’t you flying Mara?

Flying Mara doesn’t cut down on the transportation time.  We can’t fly into any of the airports closest to the sanctuary because of the size of plane that would be needed, the length of the runway, the weight that the runway has to be able to support, and the legalities of the rescue team having to fly into an international airport because Mara is coming from Argentina.  Additionally the capacity of the handling equipment and the agricultural importation restrictions. With all of those complications and the added costs (in excess of $400,000 for the flight alone), we could fly her but it won’t take any time off the transport because we can’t fly her close to the sanctuary.  She would have to fly into Sao Paulo, which still means several days by truck to get to the sanctuary.   The only reason we flew Ramba was because there was no way to safely transport her by truck over the Andes Mountains.

How long is the journey?

The 1710-mile (2760 km) drive from Mara’s current location at Ecoparque Buenos Aires, Argentina to the sanctuary will take 4-5 days.  We hope to once again have the help of the Brazilian police to make the ground transport within the country as smooth as possible.  This trip is almost the same distance as Rana’s was.

Will Mara’s ecoparque caregivers be going with her?

Yes, in addtion to our rescue team led by Scott Blais, Mara will also be accompanied by some of her current caregivers and vet.

Will Mara be sedated for travel?

No. We never sedate elephants for transport. Because of their sensitivity and intelligence, we have found they do much better when they are alert and aware of everything going on around them. Scott has transported over 35 elephants in his career, none were sedated, and all went well.  We do bring with us an emergency medical kit that does include sedatives in case they are needed for some reason along the way, but we have never had to use them.

What training is required?

Mara has already been trained for the testing that will take place during her 30-day required quarantine. She is being introduced to her transport crate (the same one used for our other rescues) during her quarantine. but as many of you saw who followed along with Rana’s rescue, it generally takes only a few days for them to become acclimated.

When will she meet Maia, Rana and Lady?

As always, we mostly leave that up to them. We like to give new arrivals at least one night to rest well after their journey before we begin introductions. It will depend on how Mara is doing and how she feels, along with where Maia, Rana and Lady are and how interested they are to come to meet their new sister. Everything functions on their time- no expectations, no set schedules.