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Transformation Over Ten Years + Maia’s Journey

This year, as we celebrate ten years of Global Sanctuary for Elephants, we wanted to take a moment to talk about transformation and what can happen over the course of a decade. Maia’s journey sometimes mirrored our own in a way, as she found joy, experienced loss, and made her way through difficult times with friends and other herd members. 

Maia and her circus-mate Guida were the first elephants rescued by Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. Their bond was unbreakable and unlike anything we’d ever witnessed. Maia, formerly the more dominant of the two, learned to follow the cues of Guida, who became more certain of herself very quickly at sanctuary. In the same way, we were just getting our feet under us as we finished the habitat for the two elephants just in time for their arrival. We were then able to feel the joy of witnessing two formerly estranged elephants learn to respect and love one another. When Guida unexpectedly passed, we were devastated – but nothing matched the sorrow that Maia felt. She withdrew and seemed to want to be on her own, perhaps to think and to mourn. 

Just prior to the arrival of Pocha and Guillermina, Maia decided to move away from the outskirts of the group and into the realm of “The Powerpuff Girls,” Mara, Rana, and Bambi. In our own way, after the first elephants arrived, we saw with certainty that this sanctuary life could be bigger and better than we’d ever imagined. We stepped into the light, ready to welcome more elephants as time and funding allowed. 

When we look at Maia today, we see that she’s emerging from the darkness that seemed to encompass her for years. She’s seemingly found another true friend in Bambi – though no one will ever replace Guida – and is moving forward with more confidence than we’ve seen in years. Turning toward our own future, we see new elephant rescues on the horizon (though they are taking more time than expected) and know that the unexpected will certainly await us. But we, too, have confidence that our future, and the futures of the elephants in our care, will continue to change lives.

As a way to acknowledge the 10-year evolution of GSE and the elephants in our care, we will be sharing special moments on social media that demonstrate sanctuary’s impact and share our dreams of what is to come. Do you have any favorite memories of the girls? Show us! Tag “@globalelephants” on your favorite posts, photos, and videos.

Comments(7)

  1. REPLY
    Sheila says

    Yes. MAIAS STORY. IS VERY PROFOUND. SADLY SHE AND GUIDA DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH YEARS IN THE JUNGLE SANCTUARY
    A ND ONLY MET RANA. GUIDA WAS VERY SWEET AND CALM. AND WE ALL WERE VERY. VERY HEARTBROKEN WHEN SHE PASSED SO SUDDENLY. POOR MAIA. HAD SUCH A HARD TIME IN GRIEF. SHE JUST STAYED AWAY FROM THE OTHER LADIES TO BE ON HER OWN BUT OVER TIME SHE HUNG OUT WITH RANA. A LIVELY CALM FRIEND THAT GUIDA ALSO KNEW. RANA NEVER IGNORED MAIA BUT LET HER KNOW SHE COULD COME TO JOIN HER AND MARA. MAIA WAS NOT TOO COMFORTABLE WITH MARA BUT WANTED TO GET TO KNOW BAMBI. BAMBI. WAS WARY OF MAIA. HOWEVER TODAY BAMBI IS BEING GUIDED AROUND THE YARDS AND VERY CLOSE TO MAIA. SEEING MAIA WITH BAMBI IS SO WONDERFUL AS WELL GUILLIE BEING ALOT YOUNGER LIVES MAIA. RELECENTY RANA SPENT A FEW DAYS WITH MAIA ..PERHAPS TALKING ABOUT BAMBIS NEED FOR SUPPORT. FOR MAIAS SECOND MATRIARCH ROLE IN THE HERD. SANCTUARY HAS BEEN SO WONDERFUL FOR THESE LADIES. …..CANNOT SAY ONE MORE THAN ** thankyou SCOTT and.KAT for ur awesome LOVE OF😍 ALL THESE 💝 LADIES AND THE 3 WHO PASSED. GUIDA🐘. RAMBA.🐘POACHA🐘 YOUR STAFF AS WELL R WONDERFUL TO THE LADIES. I HOPE MORE ELEPHANTS R COMING SOON. TAMY. PUKI AMD KUKI. And others SO DESERVING OF THIS GORGEOUS LIFE IN JUNGLE!!!

  2. REPLY
    Heidi says

    This video and post are beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. As followers of your blog, I think we can see our own personal journeys mirrored in both yours and the elephants. That’s why it’s meaningful to so many of us, even if we’ve never met an elephant up close. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary!

  3. REPLY
    Wim says

    Respect and admiration are the first words forming in my mind to give to the girls 🐘 and the caregivers. Absolutely would like to see life through their eyes, just for one day, and how they experience sanctuary life and reflect on their dark history.

  4. REPLY
    Sue says

    I am so excited to meet the next Elephants that are able to come live at Sanctuary. I love hearing any stories you share about Guida and Maia. I was surprised at the devastation I felt when Guida passed, you knew she was an extra special soul from the moment we got to meet her. I can only imagine the grief Maia felt, but you could see the profound effect it had on her. I am so delighted to witness the friendship between Bambi and Maia and am so happy for both of them. I hope it continues to grow and deepen and provides what they both need. It really is an honor to be able to observe and learn from all of you at Sanctuary and I respect the way you honor the Ladies’ choices and decisions. Love and hugs! ❤️🐘❤️

  5. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    Well saided Sheila well saided and Sara you have been giving a lot of information on the ladies that some of us may not have known like me so thank you and Katie and Scott thank you for everything you all are doing

  6. REPLY
    Diane Kastel says

    I do not subscribe to any social media, so, I am wondering whether you cans share o n your blog the “special moments”?

  7. REPLY
    Carol says

    scott…This video was magnificent! Your words resonate with us and give us comfort to know that our ladies are safe and free and tended to with much love and respect. God bless the staff, you and the LADIES!!!

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