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By: The Elephant Sanctuary

Fall Enrichment at The Sanctuary

Throughout the year, Caregivers create seasonal enrichment items out of donated goods.

This fall, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has received many generous donations of pumpkins from our neighbors across Middle Tennessee. In additional to the natural forage available in the elephants’ habitats, Caregivers provide supplemental produce, hay, and other treats for the elephants to ensure their nutritional needs are being met. Each elephant has their own taste and preferences, but pumpkins seem to be a universal favorite.

Throughout the year, Caregivers create seasonal enrichment items out of donated goods. To see an updated wish list, visit www.elephants.com/wishlist. This October, donated pumpkins were carved and stuffed with hay, popcorn, and other elephant snacks—but the enrichment didn’t stop there! Caregivers got truly creative this year, preparing trick or treat goody bags, spooky tombstones, and elephant-sized candy corn! For Thanksgiving, Shirley, Tarra, Sissy and Winkie received paper bags made into turkeys—stuffed, of course, with oat cereal, fresh cranberries, and raisins. They also each had their own personal pumpkin pie.


Why enrichment?

“Enrichment items target specific needs for each individual elephant, from increasing movement to stimulating their senses to prolonging foraging. Enrichment plays an especially important role in cooler months when the elephants spend less time out in their habitat, choosing instead to stick closer to the warm barns. We utilize enrichment items to increase natural behaviors by adding something new and exciting to the elephants’ environment.” – Keleigh B., Caregiver

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