Many people ask why we only have female Asian elephants. Female African elephants are waiting, but we need your help building their home. Kenya is one of those elephants. The zoo is ready to send her to the sanctuary. Her barn is built, and fencing has begun, but more steel is required to finish enough of the habitat for her to start a new life. Four truckloads of steel, a bunch of concrete, and some welding are all that stands between Kenya and a life of sanctuary. Please help create her habitat, her home, her freedom.

Kenya needs $115,560 for steel and concrete:

  • Yard 1 96 fenceposts.  Yard 1 is 4.4 acres and needs one more load of steel and concrete to finish it up. $34,440 **Yard 1 is funded Thank you!!**
  • Yard 2- 125 fenceposts.  Yard 2 is 3.9 acres and needs 1 ⅔ more loads of steel and concrete.  $45,120  **Yard 2 is funded. Thank you!!**
  • Yard 3 – 100 fenceposts. Yard 3 is 2.4 acres and requires 1 ⅓ more loads of steel and concrete.  $36,000 **Yard 3 is funded. Thank you!!**

Kenya has an opportunity many other captive elephants will never have- the chance to come to a sanctuary. Her contract is signed, and now she waits. Because of the vast social differences between Asian and African elephants, a separate enclosure is necessary for everyone’s well-being. This means a significant amount of work and expense, but Kenya deserves a better life, and we are already halfway there.

Understimulated and alone, Kenya needs more. She stretches as far as her body will allow for the smallest branch from a tree and mindlessly dusts throughout the day as she stands alone in the middle of her barren enclosure. To get people away from her space, she throws dust and rocks at them; it is how she knows to communicate. But the Ecopark wants better for her, and together we can give her that. A life of nature, space, autonomy, and hopefully, future companionship awaits. We just need the steel to make it happen.


Goal met!!  Thank you!!!

Any funds raised over the goal will be used towards the purchase of additional steel.



Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.


Note: Donor’s names will be added to the Builder’s List page unless the donation is anonymous.


fence construction


Join the others on this list who are transforming Kenya’s life, one fencepost at a time!  See the list →


If we haven’t answered your question here, please feel free to contact us at

To learn more about Kenya, visit her page her →


Why can’t Kenya go into the habitat with Maia, Rana, Ramba and Lady?

Them being apart has nothing to do with the level of how social they are, it’s about how different they are. The biggest issue with keeping African and Asian elephants together is essentially they speak a different language. Behavior that is play for an African elephant is aggression to an Asian elephant. This is generally the root of most problems between the two species. Even when an African elephant tries to be social with Asian elephants, it is often met with refusal or aggression. If the two species do have a physical altercation, the Asian elephants are at a disadvantage due to both physical stature and lack of tusks. These uneven fights can have severe consequences.

Aside from the possibility of elephants getting hurt, it creates a tense atmosphere. The Africans move quickly, put on displays and behave in a way that is unsettling to Asians. There are two main goals of sanctuary that this goes against. The first (and easy one) is replicating a life that is as close to nature as possible. The two would never be together in the wild and allowing them a more natural life allows them to display more natural behaviors and return more to what their species is supposed to be. The other is that sanctuary is about creating a safe space where elephants feel comfortable enough, for the first time in their lives, to be vulnerable, allowing them to work through significant emotional issues they’ve had for decades and finally begin to heal. This ‘safe space’ is cultivated in many ways, but if elephants are on edge due to their companions, they would not be in a place to let their guard down and work through issues as readily. Sanctuary is supposed to be the first time in their lives that it is all about them, and this means making decisions for the most scared and most damaged elephants.

Will Kenya be able to see Maia, Rana, Ramba and Lady?

Their habitats are on different sides of the property, but the African barn location is more about the appropriateness of the habitat and not necessarily the elephants being able to see each other. The upper part of the habitat is a little drier, not as dense forest, shorter trees- better suited for Africans. They do have to live separately, although there may be a vantage point or two where they can see each other from their own habitats.

Why such big fencing?

The simple answer- to keep them in. The fences are what allows the elephants to wander without any sort of human accompaniment. They can go where they want, when they want, and there are no worries. Many different types of fencing have been used for elephants, most require human ‘babysitting’ while others simply don’t work. This will be the same fencing as used in the Asian habitat. The male fencing will have an additional horizontal steel pipe and be taller.

The design of fencing we use comes from what the elephants in TN showed us. The initial fencing there was steel pipe and cable, but there were two elephants that weren’t held in by this type of fencing. As we’ve said before, we build for the worst case scenario and hope for the best. Miles of fencing had to be redone, and it was an easy lesson to learn- do it right the first time. So we are. The fencing is made from used steel pipe, so it is less expensive than it could be, and it will do its job.

Will there be a pond in this first phase of habitat development?

Yes, there will be a man-made pond in this area along with several mud wallows. From what we saw of the African elephants in TN, they loved their wallows, but rarely used the pond. But just in case, we will build one.

How soon can the enclosure be completed once the funds are raised?

This is a hard question to answer, some of it simply depends on weather. It is the rainy season and pouring concrete and getting the truck up the hill becomes tricky at times. Completing the three yards should take about three months. During this time, Kenya can begin her quarantine and finalize the permits that are needed to enable her rescue.

Will other female African elephants be joining Kenya?

We hope to have other elephants join her in the future. We are unsure if we will need to complete another expansion before being able to accept another elephant or two. It will depend on the response of the agricultural authority when we get the license for the female African area. We will expand this area in the same manner we did the Asian habitat. Once these 3 small yards are done, we will build two larger connecting yards off of them.


Does Kenya need CITES and other permits?

She still needs her import CITES permit.  There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be done beforehand and a bit of training. Kenya will also need to undergo a 30-day quarantine just like any elephant from outside of Brazil. One aspect that makes things easier is that African elephants aren’t listed as endangered species, so the permit process is easier.

Will Kenya be the first Mendoza4 Elephant to come to sanctuary?

Pocha and Guillermina (mother and daughter) will most likely be the first two elephants to come to sanctuary from the zoo. They are Asian females and will share a habitat with Maia, Rana, Ramba, and Lady; their area is already constructed. Once Kenya’s habitat is built, we can bring her to sanctuary as well. Her barn is finished, it’s the fencing that remains. Tamy is, unfortunately, last on the rescue list, since he will also need his own habitat as well. His habitat will have bigger and stronger fences for when males go through musth, and there has not been any construction or fundraising for his area.

Will Kenya come by air or truck to sanctuary?

By truck. Air transport is very limiting, expensive, and for many elephants, more stressful than driving. With Ramba we didn’t really have a choice because of her proximity to the Andes Mountains. Since we can only land at the airport in Sao Paulo, it doesn’t save much time since the drive from there still takes days.

Does Kenya have tusks?

She has very small tusks. Her right one actually grows inappropriately and comes through the skin of her sulcus. She wears them down, possibly on her cement wall. They may grow longer at the sanctuary.

Why does it take so long to rescue these elephants?

Many elephant rescues around the world take 5-10 years or longer. Most facilities just don’t talk about them until they are a done deal. There are many opportunities for things to go wrong along the way.  We try to allow people to get a deeper understanding of what it really takes to rescue an elephant. And as most of our followers have seen, it is quite the process.


Kat and Scott - Ramba rescue 0ct 2019

Sanctuary isn’t just a place it’s a new beginning, peace of mind, her home. For the first time, Kenya will have a life that is all about her. Thank you for helping to build and and provide this for her.

Every dollar makes a difference.  Every share builds her home.  Every one of us can change her life.  Forever.

Scott and Kat Blais
Co-founders Global Sanctuary for Elephants
and Elephant Sanctuary Brazil

Maia, Guida and rainbows