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Pocha and Guillermina, from Mendoza Zoo in the western Argentine province of Mendoza, traveled by road for six days and arrived at a lush animal sanctuary in Brazil on Thursday, after spending their lives in captivity.

The Mendoza State government said in a statement earlier this week: “The country and the world are following with joy and eagerness the journey of Pocha and Guillermina towards the Natural Elephant Sanctuary (SEB) in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The transfer of the two elephants to freedom, after spending their lives locked up in what was Mendoza Zoo, does not go unnoticed.

“At each stop along the way, they are receiving greetings and affection from local residents.” Humberto Mingorance, Mendoza’s environment and territorial planning secretary, said: “The elephants’ condition is very, very good. They are relaxed and traveling calmly. They have been able to rest and sleep during the night and the transfer team is providing them with necessary care on an ongoing basis. We are facing an immense coordinated logistical work that the world is witnessing that has a clear objective: animal welfare.”

The Mendoza government said: “At this time, the elephants are traveling through the province of Entre Rios with the aim of reaching the border with Brazil tomorrow (Thursday).”

The authorities said the team stopped every three hours to check on the elephants. During the trip, they have been able to sleep. Meanwhile, the team was able to rest for around six hours a night and also found the journey to Mato Grosso comfortable.

SEB, founded in 2012, is a non-profit organization that has helped to transform the lives of many formerly captive elephants in South America.


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