What for the keepers of the Buenos Aires Ecopark will represent the end of a stage, for the elephant Mara It will be the beginning of a new life. This Saturday will begin to tour the 2700 kilometers that separate her from her next home: the Brazilian Elephant Sanctuary, located in Mato Grosso, a natural environment specially prepared for animals that were in captivity.
Although she’s used to traveling, Mara has long been preparing for the big day: having been to India, Germany and Montevideo, Brazil will be the last destination of his life.
In 2017, after analyzing different options, the Buenos Aires Ecopark signed an agreement with the Brazilian Elephant Sanctuary Association and the Franz Weber Foundation to begin the process of diversion of the elephant to the sanctuary. During all this time they made the corresponding veterinary agreements and studies, while Mara trained to be able to make the journey awake and with excellent health conditions.
Mara was born in captivity in the Republic of India before 1970 and was marketed in Germany by the Tierpark Hagenbeck Institution, located in the city of Hamburg. In May of the same year, They bought it from the Uruguayan circus “Africa”.
He went through many other circuses. The last one, before arriving in 1995 at the exzoológico in Buenos Aires, was the famous “Rhodes”.
Now Mara, who is 50 years old, will say goodbye to Argentina to spend the last years of her life in a space specially created for animals that, like her, lived in captivity.
To reach the destination you will have to travel approximately 2700 kilometers (between Buenos Aires and Chapada dos Guimarães, the city near the Sanctuary). The trip will be overland and demand between three and four days, with periodic stops according to the needs that she has. It will go inside a box that weighs 5750 kilos, constantly monitored by the caretakers team.
Trip should have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which put the operation on hold and forced new measures to be taken when it starts. A contagion prevention protocol was activated to minimize the risk, which includes an analysis of possible symptoms in people who join the trip during the 48 hours prior to the transfer.
All the companions will have personal protection items such as chinstraps, glasses, gloves and disinfecting solutions. The interactions will be reduced to a minimum and social distancing will be practiced.
Regarding Mara’s health, the Undersecretary in charge of the Ecopark Federico Iglesias I affirm that “He is doing very well physically and behaviorally.” “The quarantine ordered by the health authorities, which was carried out in conjunction with SENASA, went very smoothly and is in good condition for the trip,” he said.
How will the transfer be
Preparation activities They will start on Saturday at 16. The caregivers will put diet in the transfer box to stimulate Mara to enter voluntarily. Then, with the help of a crane, they will place the structure on the truck that will take it to Brazil.
Box it is specially adapted for elephants and is the property of the Sanctuary. The authorities lent it to the Ecopark because it had all the necessary characteristics that guarantee both the safety of the elephant and that of the caretakers.
The structure weighs 5750 kilos, measures five meters long and exceeds three tall. Thanks to a window system, the team will monitor you permanently and give you your usual food: about 100 kilos of fruits, vegetables and fodder.
It is estimated that they will come out between 17 and 18 on Thursday and they will arrive at the border on Monday and the sanctuary on Wednesday, although the times will be determined by the state of Mara.
The technical team that will accompany her during the journey will be divided into two: the first, made up of staff from the Ecopark, will make the journey from Buenos Aires to the border with Brazil and the second, made up of personnel from the Sanctuary, will take her from the border to your new home, where the elephant will finally have her well-deserved rest.
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