The Sanctuary is excited to announce the safe arrival of African elephant Jana on May 1st!
Jana (pronounced JOHN-uh) made the short journey from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Hohenwald alongside dedicated zoo staff and veterinarian. Upon her arrival, Jana was greeted by The Sanctuary's Care Staff with fresh-cut produce and other favorite foods. Jana took her time entering her new barn and made sure to inspect everything with her trunk and engage with enrichment provided by Staff. On Jana's first day venturing into the habitat, she reached her trunk high to browse the tallest tree branches and explored under a sunny blue sky. She took a walk around the habitat, even climbing a ravine near the pond before pausing her explorations to take a drink from the hose. Jana’s care team from Zoo Knoxville will be staying in Hohenwald for the remainder of the week and collaborating with The Sanctuary to ensure a comfortable transition.
In 2022, Zoo Knoxville announced that Jana, along with herd mates Tonka (African male, age 44) and Edie (African female, age 39), would be moving to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee to ensure their individual and unique social needs would be met as they continue to age.
In preparation for Jana's move, Zoo Knoxville's expert elephant care staff began positive reinforcement training with Jana to voluntarily enter and stand in her travel crate. Jana acclimated to it quickly, showing signs of comfort with this routine. It was decided by Zoo Knoxville to transfer Jana first, followed by Edie and Tonka later this year.
Jana was born in 1980 at the Groote Schuur Zoo in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1982, Jana was acquired by the International Animal Exchange and transferred to Louisville Zoo in Louisville, Kentucky. Jana was relocated to Zoo Knoxville in 1998, where she has lived with companions Tonka and Edie ever since.
Jana, age 42, will join Nosey, African female, age 40, at Asia Habitat & Barn, which has nine stalls and expansive habitat space for a successful introduction to The Sanctuary. A long-time priority of The Sanctuary has been to create opportunities for Nosey to share direct space with other elephants. We are confident Jana will feel welcomed by Nosey and acclimate quickly to her new home.
"We are honored that our AZA colleagues at Zoo Knoxville reached out to The Elephant Sanctuary in making this extremely important decision regarding the continued care and planning for Jana and her herd mates Edie and Tonka, who will also be joining us this year. We look forward to working with Zoo Knoxville's dedicated staff as we welcome Jana and the others to The Sanctuary," says Janice Zeitlin, CEO.