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Summertime Activities


Sissy and Winkie
Sissy and Winkie

The elephants at The Sanctuary have continued with their summertime activities, in many ways, as expected—seeking the comfort of shady tree-lined paths and venturing to the various mud wallows, ponds, and lakes throughout their habitats.

Tarra and Shirley
Tarra and Shirley

Sissy and Winkie have been taking advantage of the mud wallows in their habitat, covering themselves every chance they get with hay and dirt. The pair recently discovered Asia Habitat’s new Warming Hut, constructed to allow the elephants extended hours in the habitat and away from the barn when temperatures begin to drop. Although they don’t currently have access to the Hut, Caregivers are confident now that they’ve discovered it, the elephants will seek it out when the seasons change. Shirley and Tarra have continued to venture to the lake in Asia Habitat for an occasional drink or a bath, spraying water with their trunks. Shirley celebrated her 68th birthday and 17th year at The Sanctuary on July 6. Caregivers presented her with a carrot cake made with apple sauce, as well as a decorated box filled with hay and produce treats. Friends and supporters of Shirley celebrated on August 16th at The Elephant Sanctuary’s Elephant Discovery Center in downtown Hohenwald with a presentation about Shirley’s life—from surviving a sinking ship, years of circus performance and display at the Louisiana Zoo and Gardens—to now, a life in Sanctuary for 17 years and counting!

Tange and Hadari
Tange and Hadari

In the Africa Habitat, introductions have continued. Tange and Hadari shared space with one another for the first in the South Yard. Although Tange seemed apprehensive of Hadari at first, the two were later observed grazing together, without touching. Since this most recent introduction, Tange has continued to spend time with each of The Sanctuary’s three newest arrivals—Rosie, Sukari, and Hadari. Rosie has continued to show progress in her ability to traverse various terrain in different parts of the habitat. Thanks to a donor, Africa Barn recently received a new tiller, which allows Caregivers to “fluff” the sand in Rosie’s barn stall, which makes it easier on her arthritic joints.

In the Quarantine Habitat, Billie has continued to display increasing comfort by laying down to sleep on a sand pile created in the barn, and going swimming nearly every day in Daniel’s Pond. Caregivers noted, “It’s difficult to get a good picture of her swimming in this area, but from the barn, we can usually see the top of her head when she sits down in the pond.” Debbie, Minnie, and Ronnie are continuing to spend time together exploring wooded areas of Quarantine Habitat, where they find the most shade.

Debbie, Ronnie, Minnie
Debbie, Ronnie, Minnie

In Memory

July 21st marks the anniversary of the passing of Tina (1970 – 2004). Coming to Tennessee from Vancouver, she was the eighth elephant to retire to The Sanctuary.


Caregiver Joanna Burke also passed away on this day in 2006. Joanna’s life and care for the elephants at The Sanctuary will always be an inspiration.

Feed Shirley and Her Friends


Each of The Sanctuary's resident elephants consumes approximately 150 lbs. of food every day. The elephants forage naturally in the habitat, and The Sanctuary staff also provides additional food and supplements to make sure nutritional needs are met. Every elephant has her favorite food—Shirley loves apples. Help Shirley celebrate her 68th birthday and her 17th year at The Sanctuary.

Your $140 gift will feed Shirley and her friends …and you’ll receive

  • One-year Membership and subscription to Trunklines
  • Shirley T-shirt created in celebration of her July 6 birthday, available as part of this summer package for a limited time
  • Exclusive Shirley birthday portrait
  • Access to a one-of-a-kind Shirley video detailing her life history and time at The Sanctuary, available July 16th in a private email sent directly to your inbox

If you make a T-shirt order with your gift, you will receive a tax-deductible receipt for $120.00.

Feed Shirley and Her Friends Today!

Sanctuary Much!


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