Springtime at The Sanctuary

Spring at The Sanctuary means tall grasses for grazing, rain-filled ponds, and muddy wallows. It seems almost overnight, the weather turned warm and the trees green.

Debbie has been in the Pond Yard pond nearly every day—wading, eating shrubs and trees along the outside of the pond, splashing around, throwing a big log around, and dunking her whole body underneath the water.

The Sanctuary has also seen a considerable amount of rain in the past few weeks, which has led to tall grasses. Tarra and Shirley have taken a special interest in the lush green grass lining Asia Habitat's pond—spending time there together, and eating their fair share on their way to and from their regular breakfast left by Caregivers.

Tarra was also recently spotted exploring a steep valley deep in the wood's in Asia's North Habitat—an area she hasn't been known to explore before. With a reputation to uphold as The Sanctuary's most traveled elephant, Shirley was spotted exploring the same location just a few days later.

At Africa, Tange, Flora, and Sukari are spending more time together in the same habitat space. Caregivers created some spring enrichment for the three Africans, including bunnies made out of Mazuri bags and stuffed with all sorts of goodies including peeps, jelly beans and hay. Each elephant devoured their special enrichment in their own way, but Caregivers especially enjoyed watching Tange finish off her bunny by tucking it under her tusk and eating the treats out of it as she walked around the habitat.

Spring Special: Celebrating Flora

Become a Member and Celebrate Flora with a New Spring Tee — African elephant Flora was born in 1982 in the wilds of Zimbabwe, Africa, and was orphaned at age two after the culling of all the adults in her family herd. Flora was imported to the United States and sold to David Balding who made her the star of Circus Flora. She spent the next 18 years performing as a solo elephant under the big top. After years of entertaining audiences, Flora began to mature, and Balding recognized that Flora no longer enjoyed performing. He decided to retire her—and on March 3, 2004, Flora became the 12th resident of The Sanctuary,

Flora possesses a very regal stature with loads of self-confidence and enthusiasm for exploring. Along with her herd-mates, Tange and Sukari, Flora makes full use of their expansive natural habitat. The three roam throughout, foraging, knocking down trees, and rolling in the mud wallows.

Become a Member of The Sanctuary at the $100 level and receive

  • a tax acknowledgment
  • a subscription to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee's monthly electronic news updates, EleNews
  • and a one-year subscription to The Elephant Sanctuary's triannual newsletter, Trunklines
  • And for a Limited Time, receive a Sanctuary bumper sticker and Flora T-shirt, new design, 100% cotton made in the USA

Become a Member today!

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