Give Elephants a Home for Life (BFA5830) - The Elephant Sanctuary

Give Elephants a Home for Life


Have you ever wondered what it takes to provide 11 elephants Home, Herd and Best Care for Life? At The Elephant Sanctuary, it takes full-time Facilities, Care, and Veterinary Staff to develop innovative solutions for the specific needs of each individual elephant and to maintain a safe environment for the whole herd. And it takes YOU — your support at this year’s end ensures the future for elephants here and those to come. Your support provides every elephant with...


At The Elephant Sanctuary, habitat maintenance is a crucial aspect of daily operations to provide an enriching, safe environment for the elephants in our care. The Sanctuary has an on-site warehouse and workshop to store large machinery that allows the Facilities Team to dig mud wallows for Minnie and Sissy to bathe in, build sand mounds for Shirley to rest on, clear trees pushed over by Flora, carve out trails for Ronnie and Debbie to walk, put up training walls in areas newly discovered by Tange and Sukari, and more.


In the wild, elephants like Tange and Sukari would have spent their entire lives with the herd into which they were born. Captive elephants, however, have different social experiences—often developing close familial relationships with non-related elephants. Strategically situated fence lines and buffer zones allow The Sanctuary’s elephants to grow comfortable with one another and form healthy social bonds in their own time. The elephants’ habitats are currently made up of over 2,000 fenced acres requiring 27 miles of fencing. Elephant fencing is our greatest expense, but it does more than contain elephants. Fenced areas within each habitat create additional opportunities for elephant socialization. Fencing expansion is always ongoing so that the elephants can continue to explore new areas and build new relationships. This year, EleCam viewers watched the growing bonds among Sissy, Billie, Ronnie, Debbie, and Minnie.


State-of-the-art elephant barns are equipped with radiant heating that warms padded stall flooring, scales to monitor the elephants’ weights, sturdy enrichment devices to engage the elephants’ physically and sensorially, and training walls to safely provide care inside the barns. Multiple habitat areas and buffer zones also allow elephants to move around while still providing ready access for Veterinary and Husbandry care. The Sanctuary's Facilities Team often builds new training walls and installs automatic waterers in areas where the elephants explore, so the Veterinary and Elephant Care Staff can provide every elephant with continuous individualized care with minimal interruption to their preferred activities and natural behaviors. Shirley, now 70, has trouble presenting her feet to Care and Veterinary Staff for foot care because of a two-decade old injury to her back right leg prior to her retirement at The Sanctuary. The Sanctuary’s Facilities Team worked closely with Care Staff to find a solution, and added retractable bars to the training walls so they could be lowered for Shirley to present her feet comfortably.



IT TAKES YOU to provide Home, Herd, And Individualized Care For Life for Flora, Sukari, Tange, Nosey, Shirley, Tarra, Sissy, Billie, Minnie, Ronnie and Debbie...and for all the elephants that will join us in the future. Thank you for partnering with us.



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