Wrapping Up 2021 with Gratitude

As we enter 2022, the team at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee wants to express our immense gratitude to YOU for being a part of our greater “herd”. Thank you for supporting our mission and making Sanctuary possible for the elephants who have found refuge here.

In 2021, we marveled at the health and resilience of the elephants in our care. African elephant Nosey continued to demonstrate growth and confidence in her home that became permanent with final custody granted late last year. While witnessing elephant companionship among nonfamilial herds is always special, we have loved observing Nosey's and Sissy's relationship develop and begin to flourish since their introduction across a shared fence line earlier this spring. While Sukari was occasionally observed taking a solo venture to graze in a pasture, her herd mate, Tange, was rarely far away. Inside The Sanctuary, as in the wild, elephant reunions are triumphant, noisy affairs!

Enjoying every chance to express natural behaviors, Flora spent lots of time rolling in the mud and knocking over trees, while Billie often snacked on leafy branches and took dips in the pond. And, as always, the playfulness and affinity demonstrated by Minnie, Ronnie, and Debbie kept us smiling throughout 2021.

We also experienced loss and sadness this year, as we said goodbye to beloved 72-year-old Asian elephant Shirley in February, who will long be remembered for her wisdom, strength, and perseverance. In November, our multi-year custody litigation ended with the court's ruling that possession of Founding Resident Tarra be transferred to her former owner. After 26 years in Sanctuary, Tarra remains forever in our thoughts and in our hearts.

As always, we are deeply grateful to you for your generosity and contributions providing a natural habitat and lifelong care to all 28 elephants who have found refuge and renewal at The Sanctuary. We are grateful for the nine current residents and the coordinated team of Veterinary and Husbandry Staff attuned to each elephant’s specific dietary, medical, and social needs. The official opening and operability of The Elephant Health Care Center this year has maximized our on-site capabilities for diagnostics, observation, and training (take the photo tour here).

Our Education and Outreach Teams continued to adapt to the “new normal” of virtual learning by creating ample opportunities for connection using our solar-powered EleCams and standards-based curriculum. Reaching over 14,000 people in 11 countries and 38 U.S. states through digital platforms like Zoom and FlipGrid, these professionals have truly leveled up their educational offerings for groups of all sizes, all ages, and in all corners of the globe. We also welcomed people into The Elephant Discovery Center in downtown Hohenwald, shedding light on the complex needs of elephants in captivity and the crisis facing elephants in the wild through our interactive, hands-on exhibits. Meanwhile, Facilities Staff tackled projects large and small to modify the land, barns, and other accommodations that keep both animals and humans safe.

In addition to the care and conservation education efforts carried out directly by The Sanctuary, we were able to exchange knowledge and provide resources to support elephant welfare and the conservation efforts of other like-minded organizations on four continents.

Adapting and innovating with the changing times means we can always provide Nosey, Flora, Tange, Sukari, Minnie, Debbie, Ronnie, Billie, and Sissy what they deserve — home, herd, rest, refuge, and individualized care for life.

YOU make it all possible. Thank you for your generosity and continued support. 

We wish you a safe, healthy, and happy NEW YEAR! 

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