• Marcetta Linton

A Place Called Home

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Have you ever wondered where the retired circus?

elephants go? Are they released into the wild, are they placed in

a zoo? The answer is yes to both, but there is another place in Tennessee. Since 1995, The elephant sanctuary has been a hope for elephants that can’t return to the wild. The problem with performing elephants is the elephants trust people. This makes them easy target to be poached. The sanctuary is on 110 acres in the mountains of Tennessee. The land is separated into three habitats; an Africa section, an Asian section, and the barns for sick/ injured or new elephants. The new elephants are gradually introduced to the pack, as they extend their stay. The elephants that are introduced to the Elephant Sanctuary are retired zoo animals, performers, or elephants that are domesticated to so they are people friendly. This private sanctuary doesn’t take visitors currently, but only by appointment. However, you can see the elephants on their new solar powered elephant cams. This camera is available twenty - four hours a day, seven days a week. If you are an educator the Elephant Sanctuary offers a distance learning opportunity for the class room. The program teaches children the importance of protecting the elephants and about the dangers of poaching. This currently is designed for elementary students and up. The Elephant Sanctuary is currently celebrating twenty five years of protecting elephants and bringing awareness to these majestic animals. The Sanctuary asks you to help them bring awareness to the danger of extinction of elephant by doing the following:

· Be an elephant ambassador in your community. Let others be aware.

· Write your officials concerning the policies that impact elephant and other exotic animal welfare.

· Don’t purchase products that contain ivory. This is why poachers hunt elephants.

· Look for Rainforest Alliance Certification, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) labels for products that don't deplete elephant habitats

· Don’t support the performances of wild/ exotic animals.

· Purchase paper straws instead of plastic.

· When shopping take your own bag instead of using plastic.

· Switch your lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lightbulb.

· Refuel with a reuseable coffee mug and by shade – grown coffee.

· Choose used ( this means clothing, books, appliances, furniture) Join the circular economy.

· Buy online catalogs instead of paper.

· When planning a visit to a zoo, nature park, or sanctuary in the US, look for GFAS and/or AZA accreditations

· Be elephant aware and choose ecotourism operations that support local elephant conservation projects and treat elephants with respect and dignity

There is a way that we can protect the elephants from what this world is doing to them. Join me in becoming an ambassador in my community today for these beautiful creatures. Elephants need us are you willing to answer the call to protect these animals. You can visit www.elephants.com to find out more about this mountain gem and see the history of the Elephant Sanctuary.

Photograph Courtesy of The Elephant Sanctuary

#elephantconservation, #gettingridofpoachers, #gentlegiants

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