October 28, 2013

US Contact:

Scott Blais, CEO, Global Sanctuary for Elephants



Brazil Contact:

 Junia Machado, President, Elephant Sanctuary Brazil

Global Sanctuary for Elephants Launched:

New International Nonprofit Creating a Brighter Future for Captive Elephants


A collaboration of internationally renowned elephant experts announced today the establishment of a new non-profit organization, Global Sanctuary for Elephants, dedicated to the promotion, development and support of progressive, holistic, natural habitat elephant sanctuaries worldwide. Global Sanctuary for Elephants pulls together two very knowledgeable and notable experts, Scott Blais, co-founder of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, one of two organizations that have pioneered progressive elephant care, and Dr. Joyce Poole, co-founder of ElephantVoices and GSfE board member, one of the world’s foremost authorities of elephants and renowned for her studies of wild elephants in Africa. With Dr. Poole’s unparalleled understanding of natural elephant behavior and Blais’ thorough comprehension of captive elephant care and recovery, Global Sanctuary for Elephants is primed to have a profound impact on the lives of captive elephants.

Internationally, there is growing insight and awareness of the emotional and social complexities of elephant life and society. In response to this new consciousness, there is a progressive movement for change. Yet presently, with more than 5,000 captive elephants around the globe, only a lucky few live in sanctuaries. The vast majority continue to suffer and live a life of silent crisis. For captive elephants, the damage caused by the extreme confinement and isolation of most  zoos and the harsh reality of circuses is well documented including, chronic arthritis, foot disease, tuberculosis and psychological illness ranging from withdrawal, extreme aggression and self-mutilation. According to Scott Blais, GSfE President, “Our intention is to provide support for the global welfare and well-being of captive elephants wherever the need exists. We know that sanctuary life can make a profound difference to the health and well-being of captive elephants and we have the capacity to generate positive change. Our objective is to develop an international collaboration to ensure a safe, secure and humane future for captive elephants through the creation of spacious, holistic, natural habitat elephant sanctuaries.”

ElephantVoices’ President, Petter Granli, is pleased and excited by the launch of this initiative. “GSfE is a natural outcome of a long process of working toward a kinder future for elephants. It is essential that more sanctuaries are established. Over the last couple of years our primary focus has been a sanctuary in Brazil, but we are proud to be a founding partner of an organization with a global perspective. All countries have an obligation to provide better conditions for captive elephants – we believe that GSfE will be an important catalyst and source of inspiration.”

There is a swell of support growing in the United States and abroad from individuals who care deeply about the long-term health and welfare of captive elephants. In South America, five countries have already passed national bans to prohibit the use of performing elephants and Brazil, the largest and most influential country in the region, is now on the cusp of passing similar legislation. While these progressive elephant welfare efforts are unprecedented and should be commended, an unforeseen repercussion is that elephants, without an appropriate alternative, have been left to live out a life of neglect and minimal care in rural farms or in improvised, small enclosures in zoos with little or no expertise with elephants. South America is not alone in this struggle to find progressive alternatives for elephant care, as several similar efforts around the globe, intending to establish elephant sanctuaries, have stagnated at the conceptual phase, while elephants continue to endure a destiny of unintended neglect. With the foundation of Global Sanctuary for Elephants, there is now a united front ready to provide the pivotal knowledge, hands on assistance and financial aid to help turn progressive intentions into a reality for elephants in desperate need of a better life.

Determined to provide a humane and compassionate alternative for captive elephants from Brazil and throughout South America, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGlobal Sanctuary for Elephants, ElephantVoices, volunteers and compassionate citizens have already taken the steps toward a pilot project to develop Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. Volunteers in Brazil, who are working to establish a Brazilian non-profit organization, have identified several properties that will be ideal for sanctuary development and they have already received communications from a variety of sources willing to transfer elephants as soon as an appropriate alternative is created. Blais stated, “We have a long road ahead and we’ll need a tremendous amount of support to help carry our efforts to fruition. Thanks to growing support and a deeper appreciation for the complex needs of elephants, our society is on the precipice of a potential monumental shift toward a brighter future for captive elephants around the world. By working together, and using the knowledge elephants have shared with us, we are ready to invoke a positive change for a compassionate future.”

To learn more about Global Sanctuary for Elephants or to make a donation visit their website at  -or-  mail your contribution to:  

Global Sanctuary for Elephants  PO Box 2426  Brentwood Tennessee 37024


Related sites and GSfE Partners:

GSfE on Facebook –

Elephant Sanctuary Brazil –

ElephantVoices –

ElephantVoices Brazil on Facebook –


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