A Letter from Board Chair Janice Zeitlin

September 24, 2012

Dear Friends of The Sanctuary,

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee’s Board of Directors is announcing today that our Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Rob Atkinson, has resigned.  He leaves us stronger as an organization, and with our beloved elephants in good and caring hands.

As you may recall, Rob came to The Sanctuary in the fall of 2010 after serving for more than 10 years as the Head of Wildlife for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in the United Kingdom.  He plans to travel rather extensively in the U.S. before returning to England.

Rob has been a solid asset to The Sanctuary during his tenure as CEO. He has represented The Sanctuary to a large international audience and put in place a new organizational structure that will enable us to grow and provide a safe haven for captive elephants for many years to come. He has stayed true to The Sanctuary’s founding mission, while leading and supporting our staff.

The Board has begun a search for Rob’s successor.  In the interim, Dr. Susan Mikota, Director of Veterinary Care, and Steve Smith, Director of Elephant Husbandry, will continue to assure excellent care for the elephants.

We can’t thank you, The Sanctuary’s compassionate supporters, enough for your dedication to the elephants. 

Please make sure to read Rob’s letter about his resignation by clicking here.


Janice Zeitlin, Chair of the Board
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee