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All Creatures,

Episode 123: Elephant Sanctuary with Educator Joy Owens

November 14, 2019

This week we are fortunate to speak with Joy Owens, the Education Manager from the Elephant Sanctuary from Tennessee.

Since 1995, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has provided elephants retired from performance and exhibition with a safe refuge and the companionship of other elephants. The facility has grown from 110 acres to 2,700 acres and has provided sanctuary to 27 elephants, making it North America’s largest natural habitat refuge for captive elephants.

The Elephant Sanctuary maintains three separate habitats with heated barns, solar water pumps, hay storage buildings, spring-fed lakes, pastures and woodlands, fencing, four onsite security houses, and miles of internal maintenance roads. Wherever possible, The Elephant Sanctuary uses energy-efficient materials to reduce overhead costs. Secure fencing, sound structures, and dependable machinery are an absolute necessity for a Sanctuary that is safe for both elephants and people.

The Facilities Team includes Director of Facilities, Supervisor, and eight full-time Maintenance Staff. The Team also includes a full-time Safety Coordinator and a Commissary Manager focusing on increased safety and reduced costs.

Today at The Elephant Sanctuary, the elephants are managed in a Protected Contact (PC) system using positive reinforcement. Along with a spacious natural habitat and access to others of their own kind, the elephants at The Elephant Sanctuary receive individualized veterinary and husbandry care, diverse environmental enrichment, and the freedom of choice.

Please visit the Elephant Sanctuary home page HERE and view their web cameras.


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