With your help, elephants retiring to ERNA will experience physical freedom and autonomy as they roam and explore this beautiful 850-acre refuge.
Donations of any amount are appreciated.
Help Our Elephants Successfully Enjoy Freedom
Our goal at Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA) is to help captive-held elephants retired from zoos and circuses regain their “elephantness” – to make their own choices in a natural environment. ERNA is an 850-acre elephant paradise comprised of gentle rolling hills, lush pastures, dense forests, bamboo groves, and abundant natural water sources. Retired elephants will experience independence, some for the first time since being taken from the wild and sold into captivity.
Habitat Care Stations
We are building Habitat Care Stations (HCS) in the remote locations of ERNA. These stations will provide fresh water for drinking and bathing, as well as a safe space for staff providing noninvasive treatment.
Accessible by 4-wheeler, each station is a steel pipe enclosure 25’ wide x 25’ deep x 7’ high, complete with a 70-gallon water trough that refills automatically, and a 12’ x 16’ protected contact wall for positive reinforcement training, foot trimming, and veterinary care. This way, caregivers remain safe inside the station while elephants retain their independence and receive necessary care.
Free-Choice Access to Water
The automatic refilling water trough makes fresh water available 24 hours a day, reducing an elephant’s need (or desire) to return to the barn to satisfy their hydration and cooling needs. Free-choice access to water supports the elephants’ health, reinforces self-sufficiency, and increases self-determination—all key components of successful rehabilitation.
How You Can Help
The cost of constructing each Habitat Care Station is $25,000 and we need three to accommodate the vast size of ERNA. With your help, elephants retiring to ERNA will wander further and explore more extensively with confidence and experience true autonomy.
Donations of any amount will help:
- $10 buys the labor cost to weld one length of vertical pipe
- $25 buys one foot of steel pipe
- $50 buys 10 bags of concrete
- $250 buys one full vertical pipe
- $1,000 buys one 70-gallon water trough
Thank you for your support!