The Sanctuary is happy to announce the safe arrival of African elephant Edie on November 16!

For Immediate Release
November 17, 2023

Hohenwald, TN
- Edie completed the short journey from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Hohenwald alongside dedicated zoo husbandry and veterinary staff. She arrived just after sunset, becoming The Sanctuary’s 33rd resident since its founding in 1995.

Edie did well during her travels, and upon arriving at The Sanctuary, she quickly transitioned from her travel crate to her new barn. There, she had the opportunity to explore, snack on fresh produce, and interact with the additional enrichment that Staff had prepared for her. The care team from Zoo Knoxville will stay in Hohenwald for the remainder of the week, collaborating closely with The Sanctuary’s staff to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition for Edie.

In 2022, Zoo Knoxville shared the news that Edie, along with her herd mates at the zoo, would be relocating to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, including bull elephant Tonka in 2024. This move is aimed at addressing their individual and unique social needs as they continue to age.

Born in the wilds of Africa in 1983, Edie was captured and brought to the United States as a young calf. After spending over a decade on exhibit and providing rides at a Texas youth camp, she moved to Zoo Knoxville in 2002. There, she joined African female Jana and African male Tonka. Weighing around 9,300 pounds and standing at 8 feet tall, Edie, as described by her zoo caretakers, is a curious and social elephant always eager to take on new mental challenges and is known for her expressive snorts.

At Asia Habitat and Barn, which has nine stalls and expansive habitat space, Edie, aged 40, will join Nosey, an African female aged 41, and Sissy, an Asian female aged 55.

“We are excited to work with Zoo Knoxville's dedicated staff once again as we welcome Edie to our growing herd," says The Elephant Sanctuary’s CEO, Janice Zeitlin. "With time and space provided for Edie’s comfort, we are confident that she will be welcomed by Nosey and Sissy and acclimate quickly to her new home. We look forward to updating our followers on Edie in the coming weeks as we get to know her.”

Top photo courtesy of Zoo Knoxville


About The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

Located on 3,060 acres in Hohenwald, Tennessee, The Elephant Sanctuary is the nation’s largest natural-habitat refuge developed specifically for Asian and African elephants. Founded in 1995, The Sanctuary has provided 33 elephants with individualized care, the companionship of a herd, and the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe haven dedicated to their well-being. The Sanctuary is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and has been dually recognized through accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. The Elephant Sanctuary is currently home to 12 elephant residents.

To learn more about The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, please visit our website at We welcome you to stay engaged and observe the elephants via our live-streaming EleCams at, and connect with us via social media.

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