These sanctuaries often invest large amounts of their budget to the education of others regarding the care and preservation of these magnificent beasts. Educational programmes may include camps, electronic networks, fundraising initiatives, internships and so on. Some of the more modern sanctuaries have even installed non-intrusive cameras throughout the grounds to allow viewers from anywhere in the world to view the movements and habits of the elephants within their natural habitat, with no negative impact on the animals.
The medical resources at such a facility are of the utmost importance. The animals that are taken to a sanctuary are usually injured or abused and require not only top-class medical care, but also emotional care for the rehabilitation of the elephants’ sense of trust and calm. In addition, because many of the residents will have retired from zoos and circuses, a frail care centre is also necessary for the sanctuary to care for the aging elephants effectively. A quarantine facility is essential for the separation of very ill or contagious elephants from their healthier counterparts to avoid cross-contamination. Medical staff and veterinarians need to be available 24-7, with some staff members on site at all times.
Because many of the elephants that are sent to a sanctuary are needy or abused, they require more love and attention than ever. It is vital that the sanctuary has assigned sufficient space for them to roam, so that they feel the freedom of the wild, while under the security of strict supervision. For their protection and further conservation, protection around the borders of the sanctuary has to ensure that all bad elements remain outside and that the elephants remain within the confines of the borders. Each sanctuary will need to analyse the availability of different types of security within their area, and how these correspond with their budgets.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (www.elephants.com) has demonstrated a commitment to all of the essential criteria for the establishment and running of an effective elephant sanctuary. Their values and goals continue to expand in order to cater for a growing number of needy elephants and their work does not go unnoticed. See their website for indications of how the public can assist in their constant endeavors to preserve and protect elephants of the world.