The 50-year old elephant Mara arrived on Wednesday at the Elephant Sanctuary Brazil after a 1710 mile (2752 kilometers) trip from Buenos Aires in Argentina.
The journey took four days. Mara was transported in a container. Her trip was actually planned at the beginning of April, but it was postponed because of the coronavirus lockdown.
Mara was sold at only 2-years old from India to a place in Germany where elephants were distributed to circuses all over the world. After Germany, she was sent to circuses and zoos in Uruguay and Argentina.
She’s been at the Buenos Aires Eco-Park for the last years. It used to be a zoo, but it’s now eco-park. The owners want to give all the animals that are still there a good and more suitable life.
They wanted Mara to have a bigger and better place to spend her old age, so they got in touch with Global Sanctuary for Elephants. Global Sanctuary for Elephants helped create Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, the first and only elephant sanctuary in Latin America.
“We are grateful to everyone who has helped to make this happen, especially the EcoParque Buenos Aires, our supporters and the officials in both Brazil and Argentina who have made an international elephant transport possible during this pandemic,” Global Sanctuary for Elephants said on its Facebook page, where they live-streamed Mara’s arrival.
The trip was overseen by two teams of specialists, who followed customized protocols to protect both themselves and Mara from the new coronavirus.
When she arrived, Mara carefully stuck her nose out of her container before stepping put. She was soon playing with sand and took a nap after her long journey.
Her new home has trees, grass, ponds, creeks, mud wallows, specialized care staff, and three possible new elephant friends, Maia, Lady and Rana.
We talked to Scott Blais, CEO of Global Sanctuary for Elephants, a week after Mara arrived.