Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Elephant Sanctuary

7,298 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Protection of Endangered Species

Mission: The Elephant Sanctuary exists to provide captive elephants with individualized care, the companionship of a herd, and the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe haven dedicated to their well-being; and to raise public awareness of the complex needs of elephants in captivity, and the crisis facing elephants in the wild.

Results: The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is the nation's largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for endangered African and Asian elephants. The Sanctuary operates on 2,700 acres in Hohenwald, Tennessee—85 miles southwest of Nashville. Since 1995, The Sanctuary has given safe haven to a total of 28 elephants retired from performance and exhibition, providing them with herd, home, rest, refuge and individualized care for life. As an accredited sanctuary, the habitat where the elephants live is not open to the public. Instead, nearly 3 million viewers annually observe the elephants via live-streaming Elecams on our website at www.elephants.com.

Target demographics: elephants retired from performance and exhibition

Direct beneficiaries per year: 11 elephants. Educational outreach on elephants was made available via Distance Learning to more than 14,000 students in 44 states, 27 countries, and five Canadian provinces. More than 250 individuals volunteered their time for 43 on-site volunteer days totaling in 1,928 donated hours.

Geographic areas served: Hohenwald, Tennessee

Programs: habitat care, nutritional care, veterinary care, and educational programs.

Community Stories

158 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have supported the great work done by The Elephant Sanctuary for more than a decade now. I became aware of them when the elephant I "grew up with" and adored at the Philadelphia Zoo, Dulary, was being transferred to the Sanctuary when the zoo closed their elephant exhibit because it could not meet the needs of captive elephants (so proud of you, Philadelphia!). I was amazed at the facilities TES had and their mission to give former captive elephants back the freedom to be an elephant and choose to live out their days in a natural environment with other elephants (Herd and Home). I had the great privilege in November 2018 to volunteer at the Sanctuary and see the facilities and meet the staff for myself. I cannot say enough about the wonderful care provided by the staff and the commitment they have to honoring the rights of these elephants to live their lives in freedom and to help heal the scars of their prior captivity. TES is an organization that I will always support and is a place filled with love and healing for these magnificent elephants. I only wish there were more places like this in the world and more people like those at TES that cared so much about the magnificent creatures we share this Earth with.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been donating to this charity for over 10 years. I became aware of them when the elephant I loved and had "grown up" with at the Philadelphia Zoo (Dulary) was sent there when the Zoo decided to close their elephant exhibit. I have followed them closely since then and just recently had the opportunity to volunteer on-site during one of their volunteer days. I got to see first-hand the conditions of the sanctuary (which are amazing) and the staff (also amazing) who care for these magnificent animals. They do great work day in and day out to care for the elephants and allow them to live as freely as possible as just elephants. All contact is protected and elephants are free at all times to decide what they do. Training for care is done through positive reinforcement. They have also done great work educating the public about the plight of captive elephants and what people can do to help. They are also helping to revitalize the local downtown by creating the Elephant Discovery Center in Hohenwald, TN where the public can go to learn more about elephants and how to help. It is also a wonderful place for school children to visit and they conduct distance learning sessions from there around the world. Just an all-around first rate organization!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm only involved from afar, as a huge admirer of their videos and education, not to mention their primary business: sanctuary for beautiful sentient beings.

Donor

Rating: 5


A long time supporter , that’s me ! The sanctuary has been a wonder to watch it grow. The personal stories of the elephants are engaging even the sadness of Bella. I have that book in my library and it makes me smile and cry. The Elecam was always a favorite with my junior high I LOVE ANIMALS CLUB.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN (an hour from Nashville) provides a lifetime of care for female elephants . I have volunteered at the Discovery Center, which serves to educate the public on the specific stories of each of the 28 elephants that have lived at the Sanctuary and how staff cares for them, as well as sharing the important role elephants play as a keystone species. Their Distant Learning Program connects with people all over the world to educate about the complexities of wild and captive elephants and to share the incredible stories of each of the Sanctuary elephants.

As a donor, I have had the honor of working at the Sanctuary among the elephants and witnessing first-hand the care they receive. I have watched them live their lives on 2600 acres of beautiful trees, ponds, and pastures with heated/air conditioned barns they freely enter/exit at will. I have helped make enrichment items for their enjoyment, painted stalls and studied up-close these beautiful senior ladies as they gently wander their habitats, finally at peace forever, and free from chains and abuse they suffered in circuses and previous lives. Pictures show my time with Flora, one of the African elephants at The Elephant Sanctuary plus the Sanctuary's presentation video.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the fact that I can SEE my contributions working through the elephant cams at the sanctuary. The Elephant Sanctuary does GREAT work. A truly unique and EFFECTIVE charity!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My story, is reading the stories of each elephant. How their lives have changed so dramatically after joining the sanctuary. I couldn't imagine that such a wonderful place existed for these wonderful animals. Each one so unique and special. Thank you to all involved.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Elephant Sanctuary is one of my favorite causes and family members often give donations in my name for holiday gifts. Their educational outreach and wonderful work taking care of animals with a history of abuse and neglect make them stand out.

Kathleen234

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Elephant Sanctuary is a wonderful non-profit providing a huge natural habitat and all the care and love these magnificent animals need. And it is a true sanctuary. The elephants have no contact with any humans other than their caretakers. The public can view them by camera online but have no interaction with them.
The Elephant Sanctuary also has a center where they educate visitors about the animals, the care they need and how that is provided.
I believe in the Elephant Sanctuary so much that I joined in the campaign to get Dulary, an elephant at the Philadelphia Zoo, released to the sanctuary. Unfortunately, Dulary didn't have a lot of years at the sanctuary but I was so happy that she got to live as a free elephant with others of her own kind for those years she had left.
If you're in the area, please visit the sanctuary and learn how you too can help.

Patrice I.1

Donor

Rating: 5

My heart breaks for captive elephants. I’m so deeply grateful for The Elephant Sanctuary for giving so many of them a place to finally have a somewhat normal life.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization has consistently and persistently looks out for the best interests and health care for animals formerly who performed for humans. They continue to advocate against circuses and performing shows for the sake of these gentle Giants.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting the sanctuary with monthly donations for over ten years. I warms ones heart to see and read about all the help these contributions are doing for these magnificent creatures. I initially got involved when I became educated to my participation in this reckless slaughter due to my purchases of ivory jewelry and trinkets. Once enlightened, I donated all ivory in my possession to the sanctuary for their education program, and started supporting them with money!!! They do wonderful, much needed work!! Please donate..

Donor

Rating: 5

The elephant sanctuary works hard to give the elephants they’ve rescued the opportunity to live as normal elephants. They provide and continue to monitor the health and well being of the elephants in their charge by providing mental stimulation as well as medical treatments as needed and they have a large area for the elephants to roam at will.
It makes my heart happy that there’s a place for these beautiful elephants to be as nature intended them to be!

Donor

Rating: 5

i and many many others consider this organization the epitomy of an elephants sanctuary, bar none from anywhere in the world.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

what can be said but it is one of the premier true sanctuaries, if not the oly true sanctuary for eles in the usa and possibly the world. if your an elephant to be sent here is like you went to heaven and they deserve no less. to spend their last day or years here is the greatest.

Lisa F.13

Donor

Rating: 5

For 25 years, the Sanctuary has given a loving home to neglected and abused elephants that were mistreated in circuses and zoos. They have over 3,000 acres to roam and be themselves. More than that, the Sanctuary has successfully created outreach programs to schools world-wide. Even before covid, Sanctuary professionals skyped and zoomed into classrooms, libraries, and other places where children and adults could learn about elephants everywhere. It's a magical oasis in a world of pain for so many who have no voice. Go to Elephants.com and see the great work they're doing and you might catch Sukari or Tara on the live elecam!

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been supporting The Elephant Sanctuary for several years, ever since a loud and lying group of former circus trainers began a hateful campaign of misinformation on Facebook to undermine the sanctuary. I did my own research and quickly became all too aware of the torture, cruelty and abuse suffered by these magnificent creatures, especially in captivity. I researched the facts about the Elephant Sanctuary and then I committed to donating to them whenever I could. They are a professional knowledgeable, compassionate voice for elephants.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to the Elephant Sanctuary for a number of years and following their progress in their communications. They seem to love their elephants and go to great lengths to take care of them and provide them with a comfortable and safe home in their declining years.

Joyce Matthiesen L.

Donor

Rating: 5

An elephant sanctuary. Where elephants are left to be elephants, not exhibits. Room to roam, ponds, trees, everything an elephant could want. The Elephant Sanctuary takes in older elephants that have spent their lives performing, living on hard surfaces, in chains, often alone, and lets them learn or relearn how to be an elephant.

Judy M.10

Donor

Rating: 5

This sanctuary in Tennessee for elephants is the next best thing to being in the wild. It's a wonderful retirement home for captive elephants. I wish all captive elephants could be sent here.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I love elephants. We are so thankful that there is a place for captive elephants to escape the bonds of captivity and live out their remaining time in a sanctuary that gives them freedom, care and love.
This place is the Elephant Sanctuary! We are also so thankful to the entire staff who devote their time and work so hard to care for these magnificent, intelligent animals We donate as often as we can.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing organization that does great work for

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of being involved as a volunteer for The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee for many years. I started as just a donor and after seeing what was being done for formerly captive elephants I HAD to get more involved. I learned what a TRUE sanctuary is and that IS TES! Never have I experienced a more passionate group of people. Everyone involved with TES does it for the love of elephants and that is obvious. Last year, my husband and I were honored to be involved in a weekend long intensive learning experience held at their state of the art elephant learning center. I am forever grateful to my friend that gave me a Trunklines (the sanctuary "news" publication) so many years ago and sparked my PASSION for elephants and The Sanctuary :)

LMcLean

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rating:5 stars June 3, 2020 In the summer of 2019, I was selected to attend the first on-site training of Elephant Ambassadors at The Elephant Sanctuary (TES) in Hohenwald, Tennessee. I have been a supporter and Ambassador of the sanctuary since 2017 and I found this experience to be both exhilarating and inspiring. As Ambassadors, we not only spent time learning about the sanctuary but we also created "toys" for the elephants and brainstormed learning opportunities for future trainees. We toured the Elephant Discovery Center and experienced the Distance Learning Program both of which help to educate the public about the lives of elephants in the wild and in captivity. We had time to peruse this beautiful facility as we learned about the excellent and individualized care provided for the eleven elephants residing at TES. Because of the commitment and dedication of The Elephant Sanctuary staff, Board of Directors, and supporters, these magnificent animals are able to spend the rest of their lives with family and the freedom that they so deserve. The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is a true gem and work of "heart." I congratulate TES on the celebration their 25th Anniversary and assure them of my continued support. Role: Volunteer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our team's experience volunteering at the elephant sanctuary has been nothing but insightful, educational, and reflective. Every act of service was explained thoroughly in regards to how it improves the wellbeing of the elephants. All of the staffs were extremely helpful and dedicated in the mission and philosophy behind the elephant sanctuary and were thoughtful in guiding our volunteering group the entire time. Transparency behind the work that the sanctuary has also encouraged our team to ask questions to greater assist and extend the sanctuary's work beyond our day at the site. We were all honored to take part in such an important and valuable volunteering opportunity and suggest all to partake in it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with The Elephant Sanctuary (TES) has been outstanding. I have been a volunteer with TES since 2014, as an EleAmbassador, on onsite volunteer, and other duties when needed. The staff at the Sanctuary are extraordinary in their knowledge and care for the elephants as well as in their care and use of their volunteers. They have creative programs that employ principles of Adult Education and learning that are engaging and fun. I always learn new things when I volunteer. I am particularly fond of my time in August of 2019 when I participated in their EleAmbassador Workshop. This was a two and half-day workshop that provided EleAmabassador volunteers from across the country the opportunity to come together at the Elephant Discover Center in Hohenwald, TN. In addition to getting to know the other volunteers and sharing tips and experiences, we were able to meet the CEO, The Board President, and many of the elephant caregivers. From this opportunity, I was able to learn and see first-hand the mission and work of The Elephant Sanctuary. It was phenomenal. Everyone was so welcoming and willing to engage and express their passion for the elephants and this organization. I came away from this experience feeling enthusiastic about the Sanctuary, the staff, and its mission. I also came away feeling extra confident that TES is an organization I want to continue to support in any way that I can.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was an outstanding experience. It was hard sweaty work, but so worth it. The staff was so sincere about their commitment to the elephants. They were also very helpful and informative. I learned so much. It was an uplifting and rewarding experience.

Josh S.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I participated in a volunteer day on 11/16/19. I've been a donor to the Sanctuary for a long time. Actually being there, seeing the animals and their facilities was awesome. These beautiful creatures, after years of living in terrible conditions, are receiving top notch care. It's inspiring that people can come together in a big way to preserve and protect nature's vanishing beauty.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best volunteer experiences I've ever had! The staff is amazing & the facility is very impressive. There is no contact with the elephants which is the way is should be but we were fortunate enough to see several while I was there. I loved being able to see them just being elephants. My favorite activity was making enrichment items for them and watching them get to enjoy some of them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an amazing experience volunteering here. I drove 8 hours to come to TN and it was so worth it. It was well organized. I thought there was a good balance of time between working on tasks and also having time to learn and hear from the staff about the facilities and stories of the elephants. They took the time to show us the sanctuary and answer all of our questions. It was great that they worked along side of us as well. They were very knowledgeable and really showed their dedication to putting the elephants needs first. I was so impressed how clean and well cared for the facilities and elephants were. It makes me very happy to know there is a place like this for elephants to go.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My honey and I came to TN from RI to volunteer for The Sanctuary after learning about it from a local, volunter-representative at a Christmas Fair in our town last year. We traveled in October 2019. The whole process from application to acceptance was handled professionally. The Staff was extremely knowledgeable and informative. We could sense the "love" they had for the elephants. The video presentation was informative. The reception center was well-laid out and provided a great "intro" to the day's events. We cleared the fence line, made enrichment toys, and got to see 5 of the elephants. Just knowing a day of our time made a difference in the lives of these precious elephants who are visibly happy and exceptionally well-cared for at The Elephant Sanctuary, was very rewarding. We are thankful for the experience and, ultimately, that this Sancutary exists. We'll be back in two years to do it again. Theresa O'Toole, Tim Clark

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It makes my heart glad to know there are people and places out there that care for Elephants that have been through hell and back, to finally reach the Elephant Sanctuary. The staff was inviting and took time to answer our many questions. I was impressed with the cleanliness of the African Elephant barn we visited. The floors, steer spaces for each Elephant and equipment shone clean and free of dirt. Though unexpected, we did see three of the resident Elephants, which was a true gift! We were given important responsibilities to help make the Elephants lives better. We filled tires with hay or bamboo and then went out into the African Elephant encloser and hid hay and tree branches for the Elephants to root around, find and eat. The Elephant Sanctuary is a true gift to these magnificent animals and a gift to those of us fortunate enough to participate at the Sanctuary. Glorious day!

Vicki Parks H.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated for a few years to this truly worthy sanctuary!

Mary Jo N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have donated to this nonprofit for years. It is an absolutely wonderful sanctuary for retired circus and zoo elephants. I wish all elephants that have wrongly been used in entertainment could live in such a great sanctuary.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Absolutely love this elephant sanctuary! I was lucky enough to volunteer there and learn more about what they do there. Amazing staff, extremely clean and well kept, and driven with love and compassion.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently had the pleasure of volunteering for a day at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN. As a regular donor, I have always been impressed with their mission and core values, but my experience being physically there to work with the staff on the actual property exceeded all expectations. The dedication, care, and heartfelt commitment to the health and happiness of these animals was heartwarming and profound. We were able to participate in several activities and I felt that we truly made a difference even though we were only there for one day. I was never so happy to be sweaty and dirty! It was truly a meaningful experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Elephant Sanctuary on June 29, 2019. The Discovery Center in Hohenwald, TN was the beginning of an exceptional day. This building is designed in a clean, family friendly, interactive and educational way. Todd Montgomery, Education & Volunteer Director, does an amazing job with presentations for the public, schools and our group of volunteers on the 29th. We spent the day doing manual labor type "chores", such as weeding at the main property, pruning trees at the Sanctuary, cutting vines off fences, making awesome elephant enrichment toys, (think Kong toys for elephants, with tires stuffed with hay and bamboo leaves), and much more.

The care, dedication and professionalism of all staff at this Elephant Sanctuary is absolutely five stars. Their heartfelt feeling for what they do shines while watching them work and in their connection with the elephants. It was a fantastic day.

Thank you all from your friends in Georgia!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just volunteered for a day at the Hohenwald, TN Elephant Sanctuary. What a heartwarming experience. It was a hot, sweaty day of physical labor and I wish I could do it every week. The elephants are so well loved and cared for. They have so much room to roam and do whatever they want. After years of abuse and loneliness to have this freedom and companionship is just awesome. The workers we came into contact with were professional and knowledgeable. It’s all about the elephants and what they need and want. What an amazing place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at the sanctuary after several years of being a member. I had already been impressed by their mission, education, and outreach materials, but what I saw in person blew me away! Every single person we met who worked for the Sanctuary was knowledgeable, passionate, and eager to share the mission. We learned about whole-elephant care, the education and advocacy work they do around the world, and how each elephant is treated as an individual, with the best possible care tailored to it. The sanctuary grounds themselves were beautiful and immaculate. The care staff truly love “their girls”. This is a true sanctuary for these noble beings that truly deserve it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I volunteered on 6/1/2019 and it was a wonderful day. We were impressed by the quality of the structures that housed "the girls" and the surroundings that they roamed. I've never seen such clean barns! The staff was professional yet warm and welcoming.
Most importantly, the sanctuary truly belongs to the elephants. They do as they please and any contact with people is totally voluntary, as it should be!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I volunteered on 4/20/19. It was our first experience with the Elephant Sanctuary. We drove down from Wisconsin and had an amazing time! The visitor/education center in town is beautiful and the elephant grounds are spectacular. Through every step of the way, you can see and feel that everyone has the elephant's best interests in mind. The staff and volunteers are professional and the expectations are clearly communicated. I would highly recommend this nonprofit to anyone looking to better the lives of these precious elephants. I support the organization 100%. They are doing fantastic work! Thank you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered on April 20, 2019 and it was an amazing experience. The facility was exactly as it stands to be, a safe haven and sanctuary for these amazing creatures. The staff was incredible and very knowledgeable giving us insight as to the daily care and treatment of the elephants. Each elephant has their own distinct personality as you can imagine and it was so interesting to hear about how each one acts and interacts in their daily life. I was one of ten volunteers that day, we mulched, painted, made enrichments for the elephants. It was an awarding experiencing knowing my little time there did some good for this non-profit and the elephants that live there. I traveled from Michigan and would do so again to help out. I came back home not only fulfilled that I had done a good deed, but with even more respect and admiration of this facility and the work they do to cherish and enable these wonderful elephants live out their remaining lives in peace.

Karin Kounelis
Kalamazoo, MI

Martha S.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I do not remember when or how I got involved with the Elephant Sanctuary except that I was so proud that this very amazing organization was in my state (Tennessee). Then one day about 4 years ago I got an e-mail about the volunteer days and I jumped on that response. And I won the lottery! I got to pull weeds, rake and pick up dead limbs all day. But the elephants were nearby and I got a few glimpses of them. The best part was putting the stories that Todd told us with each elephant and knowing that I had actually seen her; maybe from a distance but it was worth it.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I just did a birthday fundraiser on facebook
I hope you really di get all the cash. !

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Serving as a volunteer at The Elephant Santuary was awesome. The elephants on site are so well cared for and have so much room to roam and to do what elephants do. We were put to work, painting, relocating items, snipping banana leaves for enrichment, pulling weeds and doing general clean-up. What a treat in that we were fortunate and able to spot some elephants throughout the day. TES Staff were so knowledgable and kind, sharing information and their stories with us.

If you are thinking of volunteering or donating to TES, just do it. You won't regret it!

A big Thank you to TES for the experience. You are in my heart forever.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Elephant Sanctuary (TES) is an organization that truly works to do good, and does so very efficiently. I have volunteered and donated for over five years so I know this firsthand. Recently TES was rated the #1 charity in Tennessee with a 96.3% rating. It was found that 83.9% of donations are plowed right back into Sanctuary operations, because everything about elephants is big, including the cost of their care! Only 9.8% goes to administrative costs. This is a remarkable and sustained history that enables TES to provide a forever home and proper care to aging elephants whose lives were a litany of abuse and mistreatment. Help them help these gentle giants, because with the generosity of their donors this organization is able to fund advanced veterinarian care for aging elephants and use the knowledge gained to help other captive elephants as well. TES also helps educate children through its distance learning programs, and opened the Elephant Discovery Center to provide hands on self-guided exhibits, an outdoor classroom, and additional educational programming so future generations can learn about elephants. A very worthy and well run organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Out of all the volunteer work I've ever done, I cannot recall a better, more fulfilling experience than working at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee this past summer. Aside from just knowing we were helping a very worthwhile cause, there were other positive things about working with this group. Todd Montgomery and the other staff were super nice, extremely knowledgeable and very well organized/prepared for everyone, so there was no wasted time sitting around waiting or feeling like any of our time there was unnecessary. This is a very quality, first rate program to volunteer with and one which I am happy to have spent my time and effort on. Thank you, E.S. for a great and memorable experience and your continued good work!
Mike G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This experience.was a dream come true for me, an elephant lover. There is no guarantee that you’ll see an elephant but you can be happy to know that this is a true sanctuary where the elephant’s needs come before people’s. I went in August of 2018, I was with 9 other people who loved elephants as much as me, what a pleasure! We all worked hard and had fun. I intend to continue to volunteer as often as they will have me. It was a true learning experience. Everyone was so nice. Bonus, we did see elephants! It was magnificent! They are so beautiful and seem to know we were there to help them. Love was definitely in the air!

Writer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thrilled!! Exuberant!!! Just a few adjectives to best describe our most phenomenal volunteer day ever at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee!!!

Never have we sweat so much...yet having the time of our lives hoping to help staff make a difference for the girls!! Our volunteer team was top notch!! We pulled weeds at The Elephant Discovery Center, then car pooled to the Sanctuary where we unloaded and stacked hay, made tire treats filled with bamboo and grape vines, cleared vines from fencing, cut banana leaves to make enrichment treats for the girls using peanut butter, pumpkin, celery and popcorn to make a sort of burrito for the girls!

We listened, learned and walked our talk that day with the stellar help of of our organized and exceptional volunteer guides Todd and Kaitlin... who were working right there with us!! The work done at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has educated the world about elephants! This top notch facility and staff continuously need our volunteer and financial help to better the lives of these girls... and elephants around the world!

Giddy that 4 of the girls made an appearance providing some extraordinary memories!!

Grateful for the grand opportunity to help staff help the elephants... and well worth the 11 hour drive from Iowa!

Absolutely hope to be able to volunteer again someday!!!

1 Christie M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We spent a day volunteering with the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. The communication prior to the visit was prompt and complete. The day itself was everything we hoped for and more (as we were lucky enough to actually see some of the elephants--they are clear that you are not guaranteed to see any elephants). The environment was very clean, the caregivers and volunteer guides answered all questions and explained a lot about how the sanctuary works.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I try to get involved in causes I believe in. The Elephant Sanctuary at Hohenwald is by far my most amazing volunteer work. Todd and the veterinarian for the elephants made it such an unbelievable experience. Filling the tires and barrels with goodies for the elephants to work for was such fun. I try to send some type of donation whenever I can. The place is amazing. They truly live to care for these beautiful creatures. The elephants stories are sad but their rest of their lives after entering the sanctuary surely have to be happy and peaceful They so deserve it. If I won the lottery I would donate most of it to the sanctuary. It needs to continue to be able to continue to care for these elephants and the future ones the sanctuary gets. The grounds are well kept and I was amazed how organized and clean their barns and stalls are! My favorite was to hear of Shirley turning 70!!They are doing it right for her to reach such an amazing age and still be basically healthy. The hard work these people do shows true Dedication to these giants. Anyone reading this that is able to donate- do it!! For the love of elephants to have a place to live out their life without chains and abuse- but peaceful and free

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I volunteered at the Elephant Sanctuary. During that experience we were able to work and visit with Sanctuary staff and tour parts of the Sanctuary. This opportunity confirmed (actually, exceeded) our initial positive perception of the organization, it's managament, it's goals and the dedication and expertise of the staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I spent a Saturday volunteering at the Elephant Sanctuary and it was an incredible experience. We got to learn so much while helping out this wonderful organization who do so much to help not only elephants living within the sanctuary, but around the world through their research, etc. The day included helping with landscaping projects, cleanup, making enrichment for the elephants and more. The staff was wonderful and full of fun facts and anecdotes. We hope to have the opportunity to return and volunteer again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I drove down from Michigan for one of the volunteer days and it was an amazing experience! I learned so much about the Sanctuary and their mission as well as many great facts about elephants, the impact we have on them, and what we need to do to conserve their habitat. I also learned the heartbreaking stories of a few of their retired circus elephant but it is great to know they are in excellent care, in their new home, in Tennessee. The volunteer day was particularly interesting to me because I am currently a Zoology major and it was great to be exposed to the wonderful ways they care for and enrich the elephants! The staff was very helpful with the information they provided for education and safety. They worked alongside the volunteers and made it a fun day for everyone.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The sanctuary is a caring, safe, and well-run facility offering retired elephants peace in their later years. While the site is not open to the public, and rightly so (the elephants are not meant to be on display in any way), the Discovery Center in Hohenwald provides education, and inspiration to all of us to become involved. When you learn that these ellies have big hearts, souls, and senses of humor, how can you not donate a little to ensure their species continues? View the elliecams to see these wonderful creatures go about their days. I am proud to say that I was a volunteer this past summer.

Jenny B.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started following and donating to The Elephant Sanctuary of Tennessee because my sister LOVES elephants. We became members, and decided to do a volunteer day together this summer. Everything about the Sanctuary far exceeded what I imagined it was, or could be. The volunteer program was very well organized, the staff was amazing, and the actual land/living conditions were breathtaking. Volunteering made us want to take a more active role in donating here.

lisaspups

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I live in Winston-Salem, NC, and I have volunteered for TES several times over the years. The fact that I am willing to drive over 7 hours, one-way, will hopefully give you an idea of how much I love volunteering for them. I have never had one bad experience. The work can be very physical, but it is so rewarding. The staff is always friendly and ready to answer any questions., and the stories they can tell!

I have been fortunate to catch sight of the girls on just about every visit, but even if I didn't, it would not matter. The knowledge that I contributed in some small way to their well-being and quality of life makes the trip more than worthwhile. I wish the same for every one that has the chance to volunteer for this wonderful organization.

Johnna H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experiences volunteering with The Elephant Sanctuary have been outstanding. While it is hard work for the onsite visits, the elephants and their staff make it an extremely rewarding and remarkable experience. I am grateful to have had a chance to volunteer onsite on behalf of these wonderful animals and I hope to continue to do so. I have also enjoyed volunteering as an Elembassador. Here, I raise awareness about the needs of elephants in captivity and provide information about the Sanctuary. I feel fully supported by the Sanctuary staff. They provide online training, refresher courses, and will answer questions.
Thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The volunteer experience at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee was AMAZING. To be able to support the work of this special place is something everybody who cares about elephants (or any creatures that are regularly exploited) should experience. It was so special to be able to contribute physically, directly supporting all that is done day in and day out to make these elephant's lives and home a safe and nurturing place. The staff were very friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about their work. The activities were engaging and everything was very well-managed (communication, timing, transportation, etc.). This is a very special place with very dedicated staff, and anybody who has the opportunity to volunteer should do it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The dedication of this organization is absolutely amazing. I was honored to have the opportunity to participate in one of the volunteer days and can not even begin to describe the depth of consideration that is taken by the staff to care for the elephants who reside here. I was also very impressed by the discovery center and excited for the upcoming expansions. Thanks to the knowledgeable and kind staff, I learned a lot about elephants and the various roles of the sanctuary in their preservation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So my experience as a volunteer for the sanctuary was wonderful. We spent time cutting the vines on the outside fence, cutting down bamboo leaves and creating treats for the elephants. I thought it was wonderful that one of the caregivers for two of the elephants spent the day with us. We were able to ask questions and hear stories from an inside perspective.

Todd was very informative and guided us safely throughout the day. The day was structured but we were not rushed. We had plenty of time for breaks, lunch and just enjoying the experience and taking it all in.

With or without a chance to see an elephant it was such a rewarding day from beginning to end. I would definitely do it again and highly recommend the experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came upon the Elephant Sanctuary around the time of a great sadness in my life and there on 20/20, a television program, a film of Sissy was being shown, being brutalized. Due to the outrage of the injustice, Sissy was retired to TES. That is when I started to spend time, educating myself with captive elephants. How they behave, show affection and bond with each other or other species, specifically when they are in a habitat that allows them to be their elephant selves. They captivated my imagination and hope for the planet.

So my experience on October 21st this year was extremely meaningful and emotional. I enjoyed cutting the vines on the outside fence, enjoyed creating treats for the African elephants and really enjoyed the stories from the caregivers and staff, but the most awesome experience beyond what I cared to hope for was seeing the elephants themselves. Pure majesty and beauty. The beloved Sissy was out in the field when I first saw her and tears of joy and other unnamable emotions gushed out of me. It felt surreal and real all at once. I loved seeing all the elephants we crossed paths with ...Sissy was beautifully calm.

I can't thank Todd enough for surprising our group with the opportunity of looking out on five elephants within the Q habitat. Todd was very informative and guided us safely to our final destination, creating a memorable day for all involved. I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life and I am eternally grateful for all who are involved caring for these magnificent animals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I had the opportunity to visit the sanctuary as part of a volunteer day. We walked a portion of the people fence line to remove vines, and we made enrichment activities for the elephants in the African barn which was super clean, roomy, seemed to designed to be comfortable for the elephants when they want/need to be inside. We had the opportunity to meet staff and see where some of the elephants live. First, it is obvious that the staff sincerely cares about and for the elephants. Everything we saw inspired confidence that sanctuary staff is doing a wonderful job in taking care of elephants who for the most part had difficult lives prior to coming to the sanctuary. I like that these elephants no longer have to be on public display and that they have choice in how they want to spend their days. I also like the educational mission of the sanctuary and the transparency that the online elecams provide. It is wonderful to be able to see the elephants online dusting themselves, rolling in mud or co-mingling with deer and turkey.

Sam H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's amazing how respectful this sanctuary is of their elephants. You can tell they genuinely care about each and every one. Todd, and I'm sure many other workers, can identify any one of the elephants from such a far distance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for the Elephant Sanctuary, I was overwhelmed by the dedication their staff has to give these elephants the most naturalistic home possible. Their mission is really not in exposing more people to elephants, but in providing elephants with a safe space, and educating people in the proper ways to protect these endangered animals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the most incredible weekend volunteering at the Elephant Sanctuary over my University's fall break. I learned so much about the characteristics, history and behaviors of the elephants and worked hard alongside my peers to help with the upkeep of the sanctuary. We trimmed vines along part of the perimeter of the grounds, made enrichment treats, and cleaned/organized the sanctuary office. THANK YOU to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee for giving us the chance to help out! I am overjoyed and feel so lucky to be able to volunteer and be able to see in person, how the caregivers take care of the elephants. It was a wonderfully rewarding experience, and something I'll hold close to my heart!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just volunteered for the second time...the first time was 4 years ago.
It was a very rewarding experience helping TES staff to get some extra things done, being able to talk to them directly about the things they do, seeing a bit of the sanctuary grounds and how the elephants live, and my favorite part is that I got to do something for these wonderful animals.
It was also great to see the progress made in 4 years, the wonderful education/welcome center they are developing, and their dedication to elephant conservation and care.
I hope to volunteer again in the future.