Visit The Elephant Sanctuary's Welcome Center

The Elephant Sanctuary habitat is not open to the public.

All of our Girls are retired from zoos and circuses where they lived their lives on exhibit to the public. To ensure minimal intrusion on the sanctity of their Sanctuary, the elephant habitat is not open to the public. The Elephant Sanctuary is, however, dedicated to educating the public about these amazing animals in our care.

The staff and volunteers at the Welcome Center invite the public to stop by located 4 miles from the elephant habitat on Main Street in Hohenwald. The Welcome Center features:

  • Videos of our Girls
  • Monthly Caregiver presentations
  • Photo exhibit featuring the Sanctuary residents
  • The Elephant Sanctuary Gift Shop offers a full line of our Sanctuary merchandise—all proceeds directly benefit the elephants in our care.

While at the Welcome Center, visitors may also access our network of 13 cameras (Elecam System) which are strategically placed throughout all three habitats, and enjoy live streaming video of the Girls in their natural environment without intruding on their Sanctuary. The staff and volunteers welcome everyone to visit and learn about our Girls and their lives in Sanctuary.

The Welcome Center is located at:

27 East Main Street
Hohenwald, TN 38462

Hours of Operation:

Thursdays       11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Fridays            11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Select Saturdays only: Caregiver presentations are made on select Saturdays each month.

Group presentations are available by appointment throughout the week. For more information please call Lorenda Rochelle at 931-796-6500 ext. 105.


Caregiver Presentations

On the third Saturday of each month, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee Welcome Center is open to the public and will host a presentation from Sanctuary staff at 2:30. Visitors will also have a chance to visit our Gift Shop, watch live streaming video of our Elephants, and visit with Sanctuary Staff.

Saturday, May 17
An Elephant Toy Story: Enriching the Environment at Sanctuary
Family friendly activities from 11 AM to 4:30 PM
Presentation from Staff at 3:30

What does a 50 gallon barrel filled with popcorn have in common with a lawn sprinkler, tractor tires, gongs, trees, and boomer balls?

They are all elephant “toys”… and they play a very important role in the care of our elephants.

Every day at The Sanctuary, we make sure that the Girls’ are exercising their bodies AND their minds, and their toys help them do both.

Join us on Saturday to see some examples!


Saturday, June 21
What Does an Elephant Eat?

Family friendly activities from 11 AM to 4:30 PM
Presentation from Staff at 3:30

Q: What does an 10,000 pound elephant eat?
A: Anything it wants! We’ve all heard the joke. Fact is, elephant nutrition is something that must be taken very seriously at The Sanctuary. Our Girls help themselves to food that they can forage in their habitat, and our staff also makes sure that they get the additional nutrition they may need. As with humans, all of our elephants have different favorite foods, ranging from carrots to jellybeans to peanut butter. Join us on Saturday to see what our elephants eat and why.


Saturday, July 19
Shirley’s First 15 Years at Sanctuary

Family friendly activities from 11 AM to 4:30 PM
Presentation from Staff at 3:30

Not only are we recognizing Shirley’s 66th birthday in July, we are also celebrating her 15 year Sanctuary anniversary.

We’ll be looking back over those 15 years and especially at what Shirley has been up to since we celebrated her 65th birthday last year.

Come and celebrate with us!