Another lucky elephant is about to make a journey to a place in Brazil where they can live out their final years shielded from the all the cruelty and pain they had to endure for decades.
Mara’s life as circus slave took her from India to Germany, and then Montevideo and Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, where she has been living for the last 25 years.
The 1,677-mile journey shall be the last one in her life. Her destination is the Santuário de Elefantes no Brasil (Elephant Sanctuary) in Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso State, in the western part of Brazil.
The journey will take nearly a week to complete. She will be transported on a truck and accompanied by caretakers who will look after her safety.
Guillermo Wiemeyer, a veterinarian who works with Mara, said the crew has been preparing for the journey for a long time, running routine tests on her in order to ensure she can have a safe and healthy journey.
“We hope she will enter the travel container on her own accord, because we will not sedate her for the journey,” he told Reuters.
Elephant sanctuary in Brazil
Wiemery added that Mara’s new home, Santuário de Elefantes no Brasil, will meet all her demands: big grassy spaces, streams, steep hills and the opportunity to meet other Asian elephants who are already live in the reserve.
“She will live in an area of several hectares,” he said. “Her bonding with other elephants, besides all the land and water, will be incomparable.”
Before setting off, Mara will go through a quarantine period at the end of March in order to meet all the bureaucratic demands from the Argentinian and Brazilian governments.
“We will miss her,” Wiemeyer said. “But we are sure that the doors to a new life will open. She will be in a place where she can make her own choices,” he added.