A European safe haven where captive elephants can live in peace
Elephant Haven, founded by Tony Velhulst and Sofie Goetghebeur, is an elephant rescue sanctuary of over 60 acres in the South-West of France that aims to give circus elephants a safe 'haven' to retire in as more and more countries in Europe ban the use of wild animals in circuses. As relocating the elephants back to their country of origin is not a realistic option, a safe and natural home for them to retire in is the aim of Elephant Haven. There is currently nowhere else in Europe providing this.
The first stage of the sanctuary is currently in the final phase of construction and the first elephants are expected to be welcomed in Autumn 2019. In addition to the standard living quarters the sanctuary will also include a quarantine area for sick or injured elephants, specific areas to help aid social rehabilitation and separate habitats for African and Asian elephants.
There will be six stables onsite with heated living quarters and a large outdoor paddock that is accessible to the elephants 24 hours a day. Each elephant will have at least 5 acres of land to roam including lakes, woodland and shrubs and hills for a natural setting.
There will be an education centre for schools and visitors. Those that come to learn about the elephants will be taught about the harsh reality of life in a circus and the lasting negative impact it has on the elephants. The welfare of the elephants will be of primary concern at the sanctuary and none of the visitors will have any close interaction with the elephants. They willl be able to view them at specific times from a distance. However, the elephants will be given the choice to be in a wooded area of their paddock, obscured from view.
What Elephant Haven Project will do
Provide a safe and natural environment for elephants retired from circuses or zoos in Europe
Re-socialise and rehabilitate elephants
Provide information and research the complex needs of elephants and their behaviour
Contribute to promoting respect for elephants and their habitats
Educate the public and visitors on elephant needs and care
How Olsen Animal Trust helps
Funded the completion of the first phase of the sanctuary construction to enable them to receive the first elephants
Providing the expenditure associated with the rescue of the first elephants
Talk about the partnership with Pangea??
Meet some of the characters
OAT Oke, Dave visits Elephant Haven
Founder Sofie oversees the building works
Dave gets stuck in!
Circus elephants forced to perform
For further information on the work of Elephant Haven please visit www.elephanthaven.com