Elephant Health Care Center Update

As we celebrate Shirley’s 71st birthday this month, all of us at The Sanctuary extend gratitude to you who participated in last summer’s campaign in her honor. As you know, because of YOU, this ambitious campaign to help fund the building of a state-of-the-art Elephant Health Care Center (EHCC) was a big success. In just two months, donors exceeded our goal and raised more than $500,000 to move us closer to optimizing care for geriatric elephants through the EHCC, and we are delighted to inform you that generous individuals and foundations have continued to step forward in the months since.

Dr. Steven Scott & Dr. Lydia Young,
The Sanctuary's Vet Team at work

We are delighted to share a few updates on the progress of the EHCC—the project drawings are complete, the utilities are in place, the building site has been graded in preparation with new grass growing in, and everyone is eager for construction to begin on the 1,800-square-foot vet offices, lab and meeting space, plus the nearby two-stall, 4,220-square-foot elephant barn with solar array. Did you know that to seed new, lush green spaces for the elephants, like that of the 3.6-acre yard at the EHCC, we need only to recycle? A natural combination of elephant manure, sun and rain has quickly grown grass in this flat expanse! It is our goal to provide elephants in need of close veterinary observation with opportunities for grazing and exploration of land, with Protected Contact training walls allowing them to participate in their care.

Steel arrives at The Elephant Health Care Center site

With the receipt of two shipments of steel in past weeks and confirmation that the manufacturing of gates and fencing for the new barn is underway, the EHCC buildings are on the horizon. Centrally located in our expansive 2,700-acre habitat, the lab/office building will host working space and secure storage for equipment that allows for more in-house testing and diagnostics. Outfitting our expanded lab with these tools enables the vet team to provide timely, informed treatment to our resident elephants aging in place. Visiting veterinary and husbandry professionals will also benefit from these state-of-the-art facilities in which to learn and collaborate with The Sanctuary team.

“The Sanctuary’s Veterinary Team is thrilled to be breaking ground on this facility and looks forward to the opportunity to host elephant care professionals from around the globe and learn from one another” said Dr. Steven Scott, The Sanctuary’s Director of Veterinary Care.

As we continue meeting the needs of 11 aging elephants – providing them home, herd rest, refuge and individualized care for life – we are extraordinarily fortunate to partner with so many of our supporters eager to have the EHCC enhance and expand their care. We will keep you posted on our progress, and we join Shirley, Tarra, Billie, Sissy, Debbie, Minnie, Ronnie, Flora, Tange, Sukari and Nosey in thanking you warmly for your continued support. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Celia Gregory at celia@elephants.com or (931) 796-6500 ext. 110.

External View of Vet Facility & Barn

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