Snap, Crackle, and Pop Go the Tree Limbs

If you are looking for an elephant who knows how to entertain herself, then Maia is your girl. While she is spending more time with the other ladies than before, she still enjoys solo walks through some of the wooded areas of the habitat. And, when she is in the right mood, she can make plenty of noise. 

The backside of the larger yards have areas that are less frequented than others, which means they are filled with plenty of brush and vines and, of course, trees. And Maia really likes to break a tree limb. Invariably, she waits until things get nice and quiet and dark in the habitat – and we hear a CRACK echoing all the way back to the house. She rarely takes down full larger trees, but she can handle a significant branch without too much effort. There are low branches that other animals use for homes or defense systems, but Maia enjoys trying for the higher limbs that she can sometimes just reach.

Maia’s modifications generally don’t do much to the woods, but she has been known to try her hand (or rather, “trunk”) at taking down limbs and trees of all sizes. Of course, part of the beauty of sanctuary is that these spaces exist where elephants like Maia can do such natural things and it won’t harm their larger surroundings. The habitat is still very beautiful and intact. 

As we said, Maia is the elephant that we are used to hearing make noises like this in the late hours of the night. But a few days ago we heard all sorts of sounds of tree limbs popping and limbs breaking, and there was only one elephant in that area who could possibly be making such a racket: Lady. We are always so charmed when Lady does silly things that we might expect only from the others. But that night, from the sounds of things, Lady was having a grand time.

Photo: Maia at sunset, perhaps preparing for her next nighttime adventure


  1. REPLY
    Rachel says

    Love this. Thank you 🌸

  2. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Party on, girls! 💓💓💓

  3. REPLY
    Kenneth B. Newman says

    Are the staff of GSE having any contact with both the Brazilian and Argentinian Governments regarding when the transfer of Pocha, Guillermina, Tamy, Pucky and ? as well as Kenya can possibly start?
    Could the coronavirus outbreak continue to be dangerous until the end of the year? Is the vaccination rate finally growing in South America?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We are not able to comment on any contact that we have with government agencies or any similar organizations. It would be inappropriate to do so and could negatively affect the process. You can Google information on Brazil and Argentina’s COVID rates and see that things are not good. Here’s a start:

      How long the pandemic will last is knowledge that no one can provide at this point. We will announce more information about new elephant rescues when we know more. Any guess as to when things will move forward would be just that, and tends to cause more frustration.

  4. REPLY
    Tracy says

    Thank you again and what a beautiful shot!!

  5. REPLY
    Sallie says

    It is pretty tough to not LOVE Miss Maia to bits, for all her ingenuity and HUGE sense of FUN! “Only” children learn to be creative for themselves, and then they learn to share when they see that “A friend in need, is a friend indeed! Great Moves, Miss Maia! You just might be crowned “The Next Party GirlFriend”!

  6. REPLY
    John says

    You certainly bring out each elephant’s unique personality in these posts! Vvvvvvvery nteresting!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you!

  7. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    I believe it is Lady’s way of interacting with Maia – emulating her actions. After all, Lady is just learning to “elephant”. Love these ladies!!! ❤️🐘🐘❤️

  8. REPLY
    Sandy says

    We have seen any videos or new updates on Pocha and Guillermina in Mendoza how is the progress going and when do you think they will be ready to leave?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Unfortunately we cannot predict the circumstances surrounding their move. There are elements that are out of our hands at this time, particularly with regard to the pandemic. Please know that we will make announcements whenever we have information that we can provide.

  9. REPLY
    Merry says

    Hi again, I wrote yesterday about not getting to see a photo and a video.
    Not sure if you were able to make an adjustment for the photo and video, or whether I am getting better reception, but today everything past and present is working well.
    Happy day!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you for letting us know. Unfortunately we had a bit of a website malfunction this weekend. Hopefully all is well now!

  10. REPLY
    Pat says

    Thanks for sharing these updates on our precious ladies. It so makes my day to hear about them . God bless all your loving hearts 💝

  11. REPLY
    Sandy says

    I still can’t get the pictures or videos.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Everything has been re-loaded and re-updated. If there is something you can’t see, you might try clearing your cookies from your browser. If that doesn’t work, let me know what videos you can’t see and I will post a direct link to YouTube for you. I’m so sorry for all of this!

  12. REPLY
    Anita Janusz-Wong says

    Great post GSE! Thank you! It is really good to know that our rescued ellies have not only enough room to roam and explore but also it is rich enough habitat for them to do all their natural things – trees and branches destruction including – without any great damage to over all health of that habitat. You truly have chosen great spot for them! But after all we are talking Brazil here..:-)) Amazing country, with amazing people, climate and rich environment..:-) I think if our “refugee” elephants could pick the place to be stranded in, they would pick Brazil..:-)

  13. REPLY
    Anita Janusz-Wong says

    Dear Sara. I noticed some ppl post questions regarding soon to happen rescues on these blogs maybe because we haven’t seen any new videos of other elephants? Maybe if you posted some short videos or new photos of elephants in waiting it would settle some ppl and calm down their fears and frustration. These are VERY difficult times we are living in for everyone. And people are more impatient and edgy than normal..:-)) Love to all. Stay safe!

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      We know how frustrating this process can be. While we are in contact with the facilities in Mendoza and Buenos Aires, the ball is completely in their court when it comes to sending us photos or videos of the elephants. We can ask them for those things, but we cannot push, because those relationships are very delicate. And, in all honesty, many organizations don’t share information about their rescues until much closer to time for that reason – because long periods of time often pass where no information is given. We always want you to be part of the journey with us, but sometimes that means that there isn’t anything to share. Just know that we hope to get those things soon and will be delighted to post them as soon as we can. Thank you for your concern for our team and the elephants to come.

  14. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman-Eaton says

    Thank you once again for the update. In these pandemic times, it is wonderful to have a happy uplifting update about the girls. I always find myself smiling with each of your posts. If I could, I would whisper in each of the girls ears……..”You go girl! Be the elephant you were born to be!”

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Thank you!

  15. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says


  16. REPLY
    Anita Janusz-Wong says

    Thank you Sara for your reply! Personally I hear you loud and clear. And believe me when I say I am fully satisfied with your constant blogs and interesting videos! There is so much to learn on your website! I check your posts daily as I know it will be the best start to my day! And love all our girls to bits. Each one of them have their own hellish life story and healing to do. What a place to do it in! Love to all…xoxoxox

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      You are so kind. We will be thrilled when we have information we are able to share. Thank you for being such a thoughtful supporter and advocate for our elephants.

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