Born October 10, 1987 to Josky and Vance, both wild caught in Southeast Asia as calves. All three were owned by an elephant trainer and circus performer. Ned was surgically castrated in his youth.

At the tender age of two, Ned was sold to a circus elephant trainer and made his performing debut in 1990 with the Big Apple Circus. Reportedly, Ned continued to perform for nearly a decade until the Big Apple Circus removed elephants from their line-up. Sometime later, Ned was transferred to a different trainer in Florida.  Unfortunately for Ned, his health and weight had been severely compromised. Photos of a severely emaciated Ned surfaced, sparking an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture.

 Records indicate that in June of 2000 the USDA charged Ned's circus with violating the Animal Welfare Act for failing to contain an elephant by failing to provide and maintain an enclosure of sufficient strength, which resulted in the elephant attacking and killing a woman. This same 18-year-old female African elephant named Kenya was later found dead, eleven days following the fatal attack. According to Sgt. Rod Reder, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office “Possible foul play is suspected in the death of this elephant." The cause of Kenya’s death was never determined.

On November 8, 2008, the United States Department of Agriculture confiscated Ned. Allegedly, owner Lance Ramos, a resident of Florida, failed to comply with the Animal Welfare Act and under the USDA’s authority Ned was placed with The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee becoming the 24th resident. Ned was the second rescue to be placed with The Sanctuary (Delhi was the first). Ned’s stay was intended to be only temporary until he recovered and could make a cross-country move to a permanent facility. Ned arrived seriously underweight; The Sanctuary’s focus over the next weeks was on Ned’s recovery.

In the months that followed, Ned’s health did not improve despite countless tests, expert veterinary consultations and changes in diet. He did not put on any measurable weight and seemed to experience chronic abdominal pain. Ned did show behaviors of starting to overcome many fears and shyness. He engaged  with toys and his habitat,  sampling spring grasses and low lying branches as he exercised his freedom to explore on his own terms, making the most out of each day.

On May 15, 2009, after only 6 months of Sanctuary, Ned passed away. It was later learned he suffered from a multitude of digestive problems, including extensive, irreversible ulcers and scarring throughout his intestinal tract –believed to have been caused by years of stress. 

About Ned


October 10, 1987


United States


November 9, 2008


Q Habitat


Favorite Food


We use a system of solar-powered cameras to locate and monitor the elephants and to offer you, our friends and supporters, frequent glimpses of the elephants we are so fortunate to have in our care.

Watch Now
EleNews Logo
To stay engaged, sign up for email updates from The Elephant Sanctuary!