• Female Asian elephant
• Age: 45 years old
• Body condition: A bit of a chunker, but that’s what happens when Guida gets extra food to put on weight- Maia ‘shares’
• History: Ex-circus elephant for approximately 30 years, confiscated, with nowhere to go, chained on farm of circus lawyer for 5 years
• Current location: Elephant Sanctuary Brazil
• Personality: That she is, a personality!
• Health: No known issues, good blood work, relatively healthy feet
• Factoid: Will do almost anything for some treats and fruit loops.
• ‘Maia Monkey’ ‘Mai Tai’
Maia left the circus with the label of ‘bad girl’ only to show us she was anything but. There is a gentle nature about Maia that is unmistakable, even if she isn’t physically the most gentle elephant. Her movements are exuberant but her intention is to cooperate and help those around her. After her arrival at sanctuary, once she moved past her initial fear of something bad being done to her and started to believe she was actually a ‘good girl’ and worth the love that was being shown to her, Maia blossomed exponentially.
Physically she is a bit of a tank, and runs on three speeds throughout her day: fast, really fast and napping. She will come flying over to say hi or pick up a meal, but will also lazily lean into the fence, and squish her belly into it so you can rub on it. In the morning she will nap standing in her mud hole or next to a tree as she goes for a walk. If you talk to her softly during these moments, she will gladly flutter her gorgeous long eyelashes at you and fall asleep.
Maia’s growth continues on in a positive direction. She is still a touch insecure in new or stressful situations, but we saw that shift as well with the last expansion. Although Guida has always been the explorer, a few weeks in the new space, it was Maia who first crossed the creek to see what was on the other side. Her self-confidence continues to grow.
Palms are a weakness of hers. She initially had quite the drive to knock them down and help herself, but thankfully that desire has decreased. Maia isn’t a picky eater, although she doesn’t like melons (which we still find hard to believe,) she is far from a dainty eater and has no problem shoving an entire trunkful of hay in her mouth at a time. Mango season is definitely her favorite time off the year. She loved food.
For all of Maia’s big energy, she is one of the most cooperative elephants. She wants to give you what you need, she wants to help and she truly wants to be good. She is a peach who makes it impossible to not laugh when you spend time with her. She is one of those elephants who creates joy. We believe each new elephant will bring lessons for Maia to learn and that she will embrace them wholeheartedly and continue to grow and be the elephant she was always meant to be. Give to support her care.