The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

Flora's Trip

Moving an elephant requires a great deal of planning, a custom-designed trailer, as well as qualified drivers and caregivers to ensure a safe trip. Flora has traveled and performed for much of her life so she is accustomed to loading into a trailer. In fact Flora has her own transport trailer but she will be moved in the Sanctuary's trailer. It seems Flora has grown quite a bit since she last traveled and her is trailer is a tight fit.

In conventional transport containers the elephant is chained by two legs to the floor of the trailer for the entire duration of the trip. The Elephant Sanctuary is chain-free both at home and on the road. Our unique trailer, which was donated by United Parcel Service, is designed to transport its elephant passengers chain-free. As an alternative to the antiquated and harmful practice of chaining, the Sanctuary's trailer is designed with a cage-like structure which allows the elephants to travel chain-free and assume normal posturing during transit. This trailer is the first of its kind, making the need for chaining obsolete.

It is standard practice for the Sanctuary to hire a semi-tractor and professional driver to transport our precious cargo to the Sanctuary. Usually a member of the Sanctuary staff helps to prepare the soon-to-be resident elephant and travels with the elephant for the duration of the trip. Flora will be accompanied by her long time caregiver David Balding, the person responsible for her soon-to-be freedom at the Sanctuary.

Below is a list of expenses the Sanctuary will incurred in order to transport Flora from her current home at the Metro Miami Zoo in Florida to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

To Transport Flora to the Sanctuary

In an effort to avoid rush hour traffic, the Sanctuary requested that Flora be loaded into her transport trailer at 6:00 am the day of her move. Apparently loading at 6:00 am was a problem for the zoo. The staff was scheduled to arrive at work at 7:00 pm and management was not prepared to pay the overtime necessary to load Flora an hour earlier. Recognizing the importance of the earlier departure the Sanctuary offered to pay the overtime to ensure Flora's comfort and safety. The zoo agreed. We knew one of our devoted supporters would want to go down in history as the person who paid keeper overtime so that Flora would miss bumper-to-bumper traffic on her way out of town. Ele-Fans please don't fight over the honor. It is first come first serve. — donated March 2004 

TWRA permit to import elephant— donated February 2004   $10
Semi tractor rental to transport elephants to the Sanctuary — donated February 2004   $500
Mileage (2000 miles)  $ .10 per mile $200
Fuel — donated June 2004   $600
Driver — donated February 2004   $600
Fresh produce during trip — donated February 2004   $25
Lodging for driver (1 night) — donated March 2004   $55
Meals for Driver — donated March 2004   $45
Lodging for Sanctuary staff (1 night) — donated February 2004   $55
Meals for Sanctuary staff — donated February 2004   $45
Hay for the trip — donated February 2004   $45
Cost to repair elephant loading ramp in preparation for Flora — donated March 2004   $530
The creek rose and damaged the road to the new African Barn
Emergency Road Work:
Culverts for drainage 2 @ $400 each $800
Dozer work   $350
Gravel   $500