Planet Care

231: Sanctuary for former circus elephants


More than 20 European countries already limit or ban circus animals, as do about 400 towns and cities in France. Of the 500 wild animals in circuses at present, more than 100 are elephants. Relocating them back to their country of origin  and rewilding them is not always possible.


Elephant Haven European Elephant Sanctuary (EHEES)

In 2012, Tony Verhulst and Sofie Goetghebeur, both of whom worked for many years as animal keepers at the Antwerp Zoo (Tony took care of elephants for 14 years) have created a non-profit sanctuary for ex-Circus elephants.

This solution came after their successful lobbying of the Danish Parliament, which recently announced its commitment to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. Over 50,000 animal lovers in Denmark called for the government to end the cruelty inflicted on circus elephants.

Elephant Haven is located  in Bussière-Galant, a beautiful, 70-acre location in southern France. It plans to open its first barn in November 2020.

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