The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee provides lifetime care to elephants retired from performance and exhibition, many of whom suffer long-term health and behavioral issues common to aging captive elephants. While the average lifespan of captive elephants is 42 years for Asians and 47 years for Africans, The Sanctuary’s 11 resident elephants currently range in age from 35 to 70. As these elephants age in place, they require greater care and veterinary attention to chronic, progressive conditions. To best serve our resident elephants and those to come, The Sanctuary is preparing to break ground on a modern Elephant Health Care Center.
Inspiration for The Elephant Health Care Center comes from caring for Shirley, one of the oldest living elephants in North America at 70 years old. As we observe changes in Shirley as she ages, we recognize greater susceptibility to many of the issues that face aging captive elephants—and a longer healing process when age-related health issues do arise. We will continue to apply this knowledge to help care for Shirley and all current and future Sanctuary residents as they age.
The Elephant Health Care Center will...
- Serve as a centrally located space dedicated to veterinary services with offices for The Sanctuary’s full-time veterinary staff and visiting consultants
- Include a meeting space/conference room and a fully equipped on-site lab to support the sharing of information with others working to better meet the needs of these complex animals and ensure The Sanctuary is best prepared for the ongoing care of our aging elephant population.- Be situated next to a new two-stall elephant barn equipped with a solar array and a habitat enclosure with an outdoor training wall to allow for the continuous care and close observation of elephants with extenuating needs.
The total cost for The Elephant Healthcare Center is $1,075,000, which includes the Veterinary Services offices and lab, the two-stall barn with solar array, and two acres of habitat fencing with training wall. The Board of The Elephant Sanctuary has set aside the use of $620,000 from operational reserves to help fund this center. We are asking our generous supporters to help us raise the remaining $455,000 through this campaign.
We hope you will partner with us to create this modern facility specifically designed to meet the needs of aging captive elephants.
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Laura Jumonville, Development Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 931-796-6500, ext. 110.
Please note: Supporters who mail checks to The Elephant Sanctuary for The Elephant Health Care Facility will be participating in our matching campaign and will be recognized in our goal that is posted online.
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