The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee



Born: 1966
Birth status: wild born

Height: 8'
Favorite Food: Bamboo


Ronnie was wild-born in Asia in 1966. Like so many other circus elephants, she was captured at a young age, separated from her family and shipped to America for training and performing in the circus. Little is known about her early years, but records indicate in 1975, at a tender nine years old, Ronnie was purchased by the Hawthorn Corporation, a company that trained and leased elephants to circuses. Ronnie had spent her entire life performing. In 1993, she also gave birth to a male calf named Nicholas. Nicholas now has found sanctuary at PAWS sanctuary in California.

As a result of USDA prosecutions against the Hawthorn Corporation for violations of the Animal Welfare Act involving inadequate care and mistreatment of its elephants, Ronnie was sent to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

On February 7, 2006, Ronnie became the twentieth resident of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, traveling with her best friend Debbie. They were the fifth and sixth of eight circus elephants to arrive in the "Caravan To Freedom" rescue. Ronnie and Debbie are very devoted companions; Ronnie also was very fond of Gypsy who remained with Nic at the Hawthorn Corporation. We are pleased to report that Gypsy and Nic, the last two elephants to remain at the Hawthorn facility, found sanctuary at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in California in the spring of 2007.

Ronnie is a very animated and food-motivated individual. She is always the first to arrive at the four-wheeler for a meal! Ronnie also loves to play in the ponds and explore new areas.