Winkie's Trip to the Sanctuary


Winkie's move was documented in an article written by Bill Hudgins for RoadKing magazine. In this article, Mike Knowles, the driver of the van which transported Winkie, talks about the adventure.

RoadKing, September 2000

The Sanctuary is preparing for our seventh arrival. Winkie will travel in style, as we plan to use this move as the unveiling of the semi-trailer renovated and donated by UPS. The trailer is in top condition and now sports a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art, elephant pen, making the need for chaining an elephant en route obsolete. This chain-free mode of transportation is yet another advancement in captive elephant management. We are pleased to be the first to install and debut such an innovative solution to chaining.

The Elephant Sanctuary is chain-free in every sense of the word. We were the first to pioneer room to roam for captive elephants. We demonstrated that a chain-free life is healthier for captive elephants than a life of confinement. Now we are demonstrating that elephants that must be transported can do so with no injury to their body or spirit.

Below are pictures showing how the trailer was renovated in preparation for its new role in transporting elephants.
Beginning Construction
A project begins to take shape.

Bars are inserted from outside of trailer
Steel bars are guided through the trailer from the outside
so that the elephant will be secure while traveling.

Scott tests bars
This interior shot shows Scott Blais
inspecting the fit of the bars.

All the Players
Another huge "thank you" to UPS, Jon Hager, and everyone who made this possible!

trailer arrives for Winkie!
The elephant trailer that transported Winkie to the Elephant Sanctuary

Winkie left the zoo Monday morning September 11 and arrived at the Sanctuary September 12, 2000.

During the trip, Scott Blais slept in a separate compartment inside the trailer with Winkie to monitor and feed her throughout the night; just the beginning of the pampered pachyderm treatment.

Journey's end..... The Sanctuary Barn and the rolling meadows, ponds, and woods of Winkie's new home. Shown in this picture is the front of the barn.

As Winkie gets familiar with all the nooks and crannies of her new home, she will realize that additional sanctuary is just a walk away....All the girls can go and leave the barn when they want to! Cold winter nights will be spent in warmth and comfort... where even the floors are padded for a good night's sleep.