Hope for Europe’s captive elephants?

Well, Innocent Prisoner and The Elephant in the Room have caused quite a stir!

People are amazed and outraged that across the entire European landscape there is not a single dedicated rescue centre for elephants.  There is no sanctuary for the 40 or so solitary elephants residing in European zoos or circuses.  The US has two.

Of course, in my view, it would be best if some of those solitary elephants could go back to their natural habitats and even be released into the wild but that is unlikely to be a realistic prospect for many.  Years of confinement in tiny cramped, artificial enclosures, often subjected to harsh, bitter climates, will have created a whole raft of psychological and physiological problems that will make it impossible for these animals to be set free.

But that doesn’t mean we should stand idly by.

It will be, pardon the pun, a mammoth undertaking but I am convinced that it is possible to give some of these elephants a life worth living, the space to move around at will, the opportunity to make choices and to benefit from the care they need to mitigate the problems of the past.  It is our responsibility – every single European citizen who cares about elephants – to make this happen.

Born Free have access to top experts, people who have managed rescued elephants and created sanctuaries in other parts of the world.  These visionaries will guide us.  Born Free has the determination to make Europe’s First Elephant Sanctuary a reality and our work is, with your help, already underway.

Born Free started in 1984 under the name of Zoo Check because of the death of Pole Pole, the last African elephant in the London Zoo.  Her death inspired us then and it inspires us now, 20 years later, to do what we can to reduce the suffering, neglect and misery endured by Europe’s solitary elephants as much as we possibly can.

I often refer to the spirit of Elsa and that spirit continues to burn bright.  But now I invoke the spirit of Pole Pole, a beacon of hope for Europe’s innocent prisoners – let’s get the elephants out of the room!

Blogging off


8 Responses to “Hope for Europe’s captive elephants?”

  1. Robert Jones Says:

    Absolutely wonderful news — at last a beacon of light for these poor animals !

  2. Alice Ansfield Says:

    Very excited about the sanctuary and eager to hear updates and reports…. Wondering why you are calling this “the first” elephant sanctuary in Europe!!?? We’ve been hearing about Elephant Haven for the past half year or so, also to be in Europe. You might want to change how you talk about this to better reflect the truth and maintain integrity. Again, thanks Born Free for all you do for animals and for keeping us posted on your activities, needs, vision, etc.

  3. Donna Mackenzie Says:

    As a result of the fantastic efforts of Born Free we’ve already got sanctuaries for other animals so I’m sure we can do the same for elephants. I’m already exploring the possibility of fundraising at my place of work, if as many people as possible can do likewise we can achieve this sooner rather than later. Good luck everyone, together we can do this for these amazing animals.

  4. Carol Franklin Says:

    I am so excited to read about the proposals to establish an elephant sanctuary in Europe. The sooner this can happen the better. Good luck Born Free you are amazing!

  5. Wendy King Says:

    This would be fantastic! Sooner rather than later! Thank You Born Free & Will! Hope you mastered your Twitter skills!! & Tweetstorms! Ha ha! Remember? Speak soon!

  6. Gill Gilbey Says:

    Dear Will,
    At the moment I am concerned about BABY.Is Born Free able to rescue her NOW.From your description of her in captivity she needs urgent medical care. PLEASE make it your FIRST priority to get her out .Of course I support sanctuary for elephants.

  7. Sally Reader Says:

    More Inspirational Action from Born Free :) , Fantastic initiative and will start Fundraising !

  8. Tamsin Leakey Says:

    Every best wish for a speedy response from donors. It’s a wonderful project.