The Elephant Sanctuary exists to...
Since 1995, The Sanctuary has provided refuge for 33 elephants who are retired from performance and exhibition. There are currently 12 elephant residents with room for more. The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee began on 110 acres and has grown to three separate and protected, natural habitats, spanning over more than 3,060 acres.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee provides elephants retired from entertainment and exhibition with herd, home, and individualized veterinary and husbandry care for life. Elephants that have lived their lives in captivity have an opportunity at The Sanctuary to live in an expansive habitat that allows for a range of natural behaviors.
Many of the elephants suffer long-term health and complex behavioral issues common to elephants that have spent their lives in captivity, such as tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, obesity, arthritis, and aggression. Because elephants have complex physical and social needs, successful outcomes are measured not only by the elephant’s physical health, but also their social, behavioral and psychological well-being.
As a true sanctuary, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is closed to the public. The best way to see the elephants is by our live-streaming EleCams, which can be viewed here at elephants.com.
Education is a very important part of The Sanctuary’s mission. Through Distance Learning, The Sanctuary teaches hundreds of school and community groups around the world a respect for wildlife while learning about the crisis facing Asian and African elephants in captivity and in the wild.
In the wild, elephants are migratory, walking miles each day. They form intricate family structures and grieve for their dead in a more-than-instinctive way. They show humor and express compassion. The Elephant Sanctuary’s mission is to give elephants the freedom of choice they deserve.
The Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Find answers to commonly raised questions about The Sanctuary, The Elephant Discovery Center, and The Sanctuary's Shop.READ OUR FAQS
We use a system of solar-powered cameras to locate and monitor the elephants and to offer you, our friends and supporters, frequent glimpses of the elephants we are so fortunate to have in our care.Watch Now