Jana was born at the Groote Schuur Zoo in Cape Town, South Africa in 1980. As a young calf of almost two years old, Jana was acquired by the International Animal Exchange and was transferred to the Louisville Zoo in Louisville, Kentucky. Jana was relocated to Zoo Knoxville in East Tennessee in 1998, where she lived with herd mates Tonka (African male) and Edie (African female).
Zoo Knoxville made the decision to transfer Jana, Edie, and Tonka as part of their commitment to the elephants' lifetime care and to ensure their health and social needs would be met through the later stages of their lives.
On May 1, 2023, Jana became the 31st resident of The Elephant Sanctuary. She resides with African elephant Nosey at Asia Barn and Habitat. Jana spends her time utilizing the many wallows in her habitat and explores the vast woods to browse, knocking down small hardwood trees along her way, a normal and expected behavior for African savanna elephants!
Jana is a large female, weighing 10,000 pounds, and stands nine feet tall. She is known to be a dominant elephant, often displaying behaviors like flaring her ears and reaching high with her trunk to communicate her size to others. Jana is easy to identify by her short tail and divot in her left ear. In addition, Jana has a stiff right leg caused by an injury in 2010 by another elephant.
Jana is an eager participant in her own health care, often showing enthusiasm for training, especially when sweet potatoes, apples, cantaloupes, and watermelons are involved. She readily chooses to participate and interact with her Care Staff. She can often be seen on our live streaming EleCams exploring the wood lines of her habitat and swimming in the pond.