Bridge Repair Update!

We recently sent our followers a request for help in rebuilding the top portion of  the dilapidated bridge that leads into and out of the sanctuary, and you responded quickly and with enthusiasm.




That’s why we say time and again that our supporters are among the most loyal and dedicated we’ve ever known. 

Because you were able to provide the needed funds so quickly, we began making the arrangements for improvements immediately. It took over a week for the wet ground to solidify enough for a concrete truck to make it to the sanctuary. But now the concrete has been poured onto the form we’d built while waiting. Our team is standing by for a week so the cement can cure before moving the slab into place.

It will require about two days of work to rebuild the bridge: our staff must carefully disassemble what is left of the wooden planks, and then we plan to reinforce parts of the bridge structure itself, which we rebuilt with steel a few years ago. Once that has been completed, we will add the slab on top. 

Because you surpassed the fundraising goal set for the bridge, the excess funds went toward the cost of concrete needed for the retaining wall in the male Asian elephant barn. We decided that constructing this wall would aid with run off and keep the dirt flooring in the barn clean and dry. The wall runs more than the full length of the barn, and the maintenance crew has spent the last week building section after section. The backside has been coated, a drain placed, and the wall backfilled – which provided significant enjoyment for the dogs with the giant piles of fresh dirt. 

You can see a photo here of the team spreading the concrete and a picture of the completed retaining wall. Our thanks to you for helping us make the sanctuary a safer place for all!


  1. REPLY
    Tammy says

    Thanks to you all for your hard work it all looks wonderful great job everyone! Soon we will see more elephants call this beautiful sanctuary paradise home cant wait!🙏🐘 💞

  2. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Good work! Thanks for the update.

  3. REPLY
    Deb says

    So much hard work by so many caring people 😍

  4. REPLY
    Kenneth B. Newman says

    As someone who used to work in the concrete industry, lifting that HUGE slab of concrete won’t be easy……I hope the crane you are using can safely lift it……..did Brazilian structure engineers have to sign off on this repair?Does your state in Brazil that you live in require a permit for building or rebuilding a bridge?
    Is this bridge over a valley, or over a river?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      The bridge is over a small stream and we have two cranes to maneuver it, so everything should be fine.

  5. REPLY
    Suzanne Eston says

    Funding is the easy part. GSE and team did the hard labor and planning (blood, sweat and tears 🤣). Thank you for all you do for our beautiful girls. I know it’s a labor of love for you.

  6. REPLY
    John says

    Thanks for the update. I was wondering how this project was going.

  7. REPLY
    Marion Weber says

    When the heavy rains come are they usually from the same direction or they like Arizona monsoons…never know where the actually rain will fall?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      last year we would have said mostly, this year has been very different. but we’re not complaining because we’re still getting a fair bit of rain (it’s raining now) and it’s late in the year for that. it has been much wetter this year and the storms are coming from all directions, but we’ll happily take it. 🙂

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