Born: 1966
Birth status: wild born

Height: Nearly 9 feet tall
Favorite Food: Broccoli


Frieda was wild born in Asia in 1966, captured and separated from her family at a young age and sent to America for a life performing in circuses. Like many elephants at the Sanctuary, finding records on her early years has proven difficult. She spent the majority of her circus years traveling with the Clyde-Beatty Cole Brothers Circus. One day, while she and the elephants in her show were being walked across a crowded parking lot to the main tent, Debbie (also at the Sanctuary), dropped out of line and chased Frieda through a parking lot and smashed through the plate glass window of a nearby Sears building. They both received only minor cuts, and were immediately sent for temporary boarding at the Hawthorn Corporation, a company in Illinois that trained and leased elephants to circuses.

In 1996, Frieda was sold to Hawthorn but she was banned from travel and performing due to her reputation. Frieda was labeled a dangerous elephant and was isolated in protected contact. As a result of USDA prosecutions against the Hawthorn Corporation for violations of the Animal Welfare Act involving inadequate care and mistreatment of its elephants, Frieda, along with nearly all the other members of her circus herd, was sent to The Elephant Sanctuary.

On February 9, 2006, at the age of forty, Frieda traveled with her barn companion Billie to become the twenty-second resident of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. They were the last of eight circus elephants rescued from the Hawthorn Corporation. Frieda arrived underweight at only 6,370 pounds, but within minutes, demonstrated she had a very healthy appetite by helping herself to Billie's welcome smorgasboard of produce and hay, too. Over the next six months with an endless supply of fresh grass, produce, hay and grain, Frieda gained more than 1000 pounds!

Frieda was best friends with Liz and Billie. She was extremely vocal and, contrary to her reputation as a dangerous elephant, was surprisingly affectionate. As is typical with many so-called dangerous elephants who come to the Sanctuary, Frieda showed no signs of aggression after she arrived. She loved to elicit the affection of the caregivers, was frequently precocious and never hesitated to explore her surroundings, especially if Liz went with her. Sanctuary freedom definitely agreed with Frieda, in both body and soul.