The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee


Born: 1966
Birth status: wild born

Height: 10'
Favorite Food: Bananas


Minnie was born in Asia in 1966, taken from the wild. Little is known about Minnie's early years, but rumor has it that she was originally purchased as a pet prior to being sold into the circus industry. After traveling for years with Circus Vargas, Minnie was sold to the Hawthorn Corporation along with Lottie, Gypsy and Sue.

As a result of USDA prosecutions against the Hawthorn Corporation for violations of the Animal Welfare Act for inadequate care and mistreatment of its elephants, Minnie was sent to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

At 12:00 pm, on January 31, 2006, Minnie became the fifteenth resident of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee arriving with her best friend Lottie. She was the first of eight circus elephants from the Hawthorn Corporation to make the "Caravan to Freedom" trip.

At over 11,000 hefty pounds, Minnie weighs in as our largest Asian elephant at the Sanctuary. Minnie is smart and playful with boundless energy. She usually takes the lead exploring uncharted territory as others follow her. One day, she found great pleasure chasing a herd of white tail deer in the pasture, all in harmless fun.

Minnie holds the cherished position of "daughter" to the matriarch. Lottie fills the role of her mother, so Minnie naturally inherits the special benefits of a daughter.

Minnie has a very harmonic trumpet that creates the most beautiful music when the herd engages in group song. Perhaps this is a sign of more harmonies to come as Minnie settles in to her new life of freedom.