Special Things for Maia


With four elephants, and Lady not being ready to share space with Maia, there is a lot of balancing that happens daily. We sometimes call it “musical chairs” or a “round-robin.” Spaces and elephants are shifted to make sure that everyone gets time in all of the yards, and with other elephants. It is part of why we designed the habitat as we did. Alternating social opportunities for Maia and Lady keeps Mara and Rana delightfully busy with friends.

With Lady’s physical and emotional issues, we cater a lot of our decisions to what she needs in the moment. We also revolve choices around Mara since she is new, and still adjusting.

Maia has been here for years. She is in good health and doesn’t require the care that a new or debilitated elephant does. She is fully trained in medically necessary behaviors, so she doesn’t need regular training sessions (and their accompanying treats). While Maia’s needs are certainly considered and evaluated in any decision, those considerations are different. Maia is an easy elephant, but we have to make sure that we don’t overlook her individual needs because she is so low maintenance. It’s important to us that she doesn’t feel left out and that she knows her happiness matters as much as everyone else’s. In this regard, we try to make sure she gets the same extra treats that everyone else gets, even if her reason for getting treats is how easy she is. Her social and wandering needs are also kept a priority since we know how significant both of those are to her.

We frequently go out of our way to do special things for Maia, and to make sure she feels as loved and as adored as she is. When she’s around the barn, this sometimes means bringing her into the medical chute just to give her extra attention and some treats. We know it’s not really necessary, but she seems to enjoy it. It also reinforces her positive association with the chute, which is a great thing if a medical issue arises in the future. Other times, we will go out in the habitat and give her a little bit of bonus fruit, palms, or special snack for no reason other than she is Maia, and she is lovely.

August 24, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Barb says

    Maia is indeed lovely as are all of her two-legged family that love and care for her at ESB.

  2. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Love that it’s just like with kids you have to share yourselves and treats equally but in different ways, they do have feelings too. You guys are amazing at what you do i hope you soon will have more herd members for the girls to teach and share what being a free Elephant is really all about, love and hugs to all ???

  3. REPLY
    Paula says

    Muchas gracias por ser tan cariñosos y atentos con ella! ❤
    Ustedes son adorables ?

  4. REPLY
    Mary says

    I so enjoy reading these caring posts about your adorable family of elephants; the love you have for them is tangible. Thank You ???

  5. REPLY
    Patricia says

    Sweet girl Maia. Blessings upon you, the other ele girls, and your beloved hoomans.

  6. REPLY
    Julie says

    She is Maia, and she is lovely. Beautiful poetry to my ears. Thank you!

  7. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    Bless her Heart. ♥️ Many times while I am reading your updates, I compare the management’s acts to that of a kindergarten teacher balancing the children’s behavior making sure all are treated and loved equally. Bless you GSE. ♥️????♥️

  8. REPLY
    Sallie says

    Maia, you are Queen Bee! ( I do know that most elephants HATE bees . . .) But YOU are a HONEY!

  9. REPLY
    Bo says

    Easy-going can mean you are being overlooked…

    NO! Not with this team of elephant lovers!
    Each elephant is being looked after soo amazingly well, it is always wonderful to read and see.

  10. REPLY
    arie says

    I love the Elephant’s diaries.
    makes me start the day with a big smile ❤️

  11. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Yes, Maia IS lovely. Magnificent Maia now living a life that she deserves…the next best thing to being born free and to live free, that is. Of course, we can’t give them that but we can help to get them to ESB where they are loved and nurtured and shown such care and compassion, their needs considered.
    My cat is a “rescue”. He was found and taken in by a caring Trust who nursed him back to life from an abusive past. Then it was over to me to give him the care and love he so needed. After 3 months he has blossomed, his face has changed, a relaxed little butterball, bossy and full of life.
    I see this in the faces of the four ellies at ESB. Lady especially. Love can conquer many things but it takes perseverance and the willingness to adjust to their needs to repair their soul. Kat and Scott and all the caregivers, I say it again, thank you is never enough. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  12. REPLY
    Wim says

    Everybody loves MAIA. She’s looks a real silent force in the herd. Giantly adorable and flexible.
    Wonderful how you act like the Elephant movers squad. Thanks you once more for the little masterclasses. ????????

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