What was once an 850-acre cattle ranch located in South Georgia about 30 miles northwest of Tallahassee Florida. By late 2017 with support this piece of land will become a much needed elephant sanctuary.
After searching the southern states for nearly two years, founder of Elephant Aid International, Carol Buckley, says she believes she’s finally found the perfect spot for these elephants to live a life completely free from the captivity they had endured for decades.
"Zoos are not in a situation, nor is a circus in a situation where they can provide for an elephant, according to the elephant’s biological and psychological needs, it’s just not possible. It’s not the mission of a zoo or circus to do it that way, sanctuaries are," Buckley says.
Elephants need room to roam 30-50 miles a day. Buckley says the environment keeps the elephants interested and in tune with their surroundings.
"Even though they're in captivity, they're wild. Even if they're born in captivity, they're still wild. They're never domesticated, even in their homeland in Asia, they are not domesticated," Buckley says.
But the search to find this land wasn't easy. Partnering with a broker, the space needed to have the right amount of privacy while also helping the elephants recover from captivity.
"It was right on the Georgia, Florida line, perfect shape, perfect mixture of rolling pastures, of ponds, of small lakes, of hardwoods, creek bottoms, just the perfect combination," land broker, Walter Hatchett says.
A perfect combination to give the elephants a better life and a new place to call home.
Buckley says the sanctuary will not be open to the public, but there will be cameras set up with a live feed available online. She hopes to have 7 to 10 elephants with the goal to be finished in about six months.
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