MistyEstimated Birth: 1964
Birthplace: India
Birth status: wild born

Height: 8' 5"
Favorite Food: Bananas

Misty was captured from the wilds of India in 1965 when she was approximately one year old. Although little is known about her first decade in captivity, we do know that she traveled with circuses and became known as a dangerous elephant. In the early 70s, Misty was purchased by Ralph Helfer, who ran a company that provided trained animals for use in television, movies, and amusement parks. Ralph Helfer was the founder of Gentle Jungle, a company which offered internships to students interested in learning “affection training.” He is best known as the author of the book “Modoc.”

In July of 1983, Misty was one of four elephants performing at the now defunct Lion Country Safari in Irvine, California. It is reported that on July 25, Misty broke lose from her chains. A park zoologist was killed as he tried to capture her. After the accident Misty was whisked away and absorbed by the circus industry until 1988 when she was purchased by the Hawthorn Corporation. Misty maintained her reputation as a dangerous elephant until the day the Sanctuary staff took custody of her from the Hawthorn Corporation. Her parting shot was to strike John Cuneo, owner of the Hawthorn Corporation, across the chest with her trunk as he attempted to make her stretch out on her sternum so he could remove her chains.


Upon her arrival at the Sanctuary, Misty turned over a new leaf.

She is playful, cooperative and most importantly non-aggressive, allowing keepers to form a close and safe relationship with her. Her playfulness is contagious and her affection for all she meets is obvious.