Pollinator Garden in Full Bloom

The Elephant Sanctuary, in partnership with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), launched a special conservation initiative last year aimed at providing crucial support to local Tennessee pollinators. This initiative involved establishing a half-acre "Pollinator Garden" — a native meadow filled with a variety of flowering seeds and seasonal plants strategically positioned just outside The Sanctuary's Africa Habitat. With generous support and funding from TWRA, this section of The Sanctuary's open landscape has been dedicated to wildlife that can benefit from Sanctuary alongside the elephants.

Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, beetles, and even small mammals play an indispensable role in our ecosystem and agriculture. Jesse Eaker, Biodiversity Survey Manager at TWRA, emphasizes the significance of this effort, stating, "As pollinators decline worldwide, it is increasingly important to provide habitats that sustain these essential species. This garden will not only bolster pollinator populations but also showcase a glimpse of Tennessee's natural beauty."

The Sanctuary is excited to report that the Pollinator Garden is now in full bloom and fulfilling its goals, attracting numerous visitors including bees, butterflies, and even baby turkeys! A mother turkey and her chicks have been taking cover in the field and are observed every morning by our Care Staff. We are delighted to see the field being utilized by local wildlife!

This collaboration between The Elephant Sanctuary and TWRA builds upon previous successful initiatives, including an ongoing conservation study and a multi-species wildlife survey conducted across The Sanctuary's expansive 3,060-acre grounds. This comprehensive study investigates the behaviors, population statuses, and habitats of some of Tennessee's rarest native species, such as the northern pine snake, pygmy rattlesnake, eastern tiger salamander, and four-toed salamander.

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