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03:39

Argentina: Well-wishers say goodbye to Brazil-bound elephant Mara

Argentina, Buenos Aires
February 20, 2020 at 12:29 GMT +00:00 · Published

Dozens of people gathered at a zoo in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to say goodbye to Mara, a female elephant that will be taken to Brazil so she can spend the last years of her life in freedom at an elephant sanctuary there.

“Luckily she is going to Brazil, to an elephant sanctuary. And we are all very happy and are coming to say goodbye to her,” said Antonella Sfeir, a resident of Palermo.

“We love animals a lot, and it makes us happy that she [Mara] will enjoy a better place. Wider, with freedom of movement,” said Liliana Collado, another local resident.

Eduardo Macchiavelli, secretary of Environment of the city of Buenos Aires, said that “after 25 years it will be time for her to recover her freedom, and we already started the process in 2016.”

The 50-year-old pachyderm will begin her quarantine period on Wednesday, which is the last stage before starting the trip to her new home, a thousand-hectare sanctuary where she will live with other Asian elephants. “The difference between the space she has now and what she will have is enormous,” said Macchiavelli.

The 2,700 kilometre (1,677 mile) journey will be made by truck and requires between four and six days or driving, with periodic stops according to the need of the animal.

“This is an elephant that lived in a circus for a long time, half of her life was spent as a circus animal. So she is very used to transfers - that is surely going to play in our favour,” Macchiavelli added.

Mara is an Asian elephant who arrived to Palermo Zoo (now Ecopark) of Buenos Aires as a result of a judicial seizure from a circus in 1995. Since then she lived with "Kuky" and "Pupy," two other elephants born in South African’s Kruger Park.

03:39
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Dozens of people gathered at a zoo in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to say goodbye to Mara, a female elephant that will be taken to Brazil so she can spend the last years of her life in freedom at an elephant sanctuary there.

“Luckily she is going to Brazil, to an elephant sanctuary. And we are all very happy and are coming to say goodbye to her,” said Antonella Sfeir, a resident of Palermo.

“We love animals a lot, and it makes us happy that she [Mara] will enjoy a better place. Wider, with freedom of movement,” said Liliana Collado, another local resident.

Eduardo Macchiavelli, secretary of Environment of the city of Buenos Aires, said that “after 25 years it will be time for her to recover her freedom, and we already started the process in 2016.”

The 50-year-old pachyderm will begin her quarantine period on Wednesday, which is the last stage before starting the trip to her new home, a thousand-hectare sanctuary where she will live with other Asian elephants. “The difference between the space she has now and what she will have is enormous,” said Macchiavelli.

The 2,700 kilometre (1,677 mile) journey will be made by truck and requires between four and six days or driving, with periodic stops according to the need of the animal.

“This is an elephant that lived in a circus for a long time, half of her life was spent as a circus animal. So she is very used to transfers - that is surely going to play in our favour,” Macchiavelli added.

Mara is an Asian elephant who arrived to Palermo Zoo (now Ecopark) of Buenos Aires as a result of a judicial seizure from a circus in 1995. Since then she lived with "Kuky" and "Pupy," two other elephants born in South African’s Kruger Park.

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