Great news from one of our international partners! Elephant Haven, Europe's first and only sanctuary for elephants is now home to its first elephant resident, Gandhi! Tony Verhulst and Sofie Goetghebeur began their work at Belgium’s Antwerp Zoo in 1993 and moved to France with the vision to create a safe haven where elephants from European zoos and circuses could retire. Together, they founded Elephant Haven on 60 acres in the southwest of France.
The Sanctuary's Senior Elephant Care Manager, Kristy Eaker, traveled to France in September to assist the Elephant Haven team with preparations for Gandhi's transport. "Watching the Elephant Haven team work with Gandhi and prepare her for the journey to their sanctuary was inspiring; I feel so honored to have been a small part of her retirement and know she will continue to thrive at Elephant Haven. All of us here at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee look forward to continually building strong bonds with our international partners to improve elephant welfare around the globe!" said Kristy.
We are very proud to have helped support Gandhi's move to Elephant Haven with funding for her training and transport. Special shoutout to the Janet M. Johnston Foundation who helped make our support possible!
Sofie Goetghebeur, Elephant Haven Co-Founder, shares her enormous gratitude for the cooperation of all those ensuring Gandhi's wellbeing: "In particular, we are very proud that The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee helped support Gandhi's move, and we are delighted and honoured to have had this opportunity to join forces with an established sanctuary. We will continue to combine the knowledge and experience of other elephant sanctuaries with that of our own, for the ultimate wellbeing of the elephants that we all care for."
From Tennessee to France, we are all thrilled that Gandhi will now live out her life gracefully in this peaceful refuge.