It is time to expand. While the first three yards of the female African habitat are large enough for us to bring Kenya, Kuky, and Pupy to sanctuary, they will need more room in order to thrive. When it comes to sanctuary’s transformative abilities, space is integral. It not only aids in healing physical issues and allows the body to return to a natural way of functioning, but it is also necessary to heal an elephant’s mind. They reawaken when encountering different sights, smells, plants, and animals, and are given opportunities for decision making. 

African elephants tend to be more active and demanding on a habitat than Asian elephants (who are more selective eaters); as a result, they need more space in order to maintain a healthy environment. It is imperative that we expand the female African Elephant Habitat, so the land that sustains them can continue to thrive, while allowing the elephants to also flourish. This expansion will also allow us to rescue additional female African elephants, as we have been approached about potentially welcoming more in the future. 

The $744,039-expansion includes:

  • 2300 meters of African elephant fencing
  • 2 new yards
  • An additional 70 acres of space

The formula for the sanctuary’s growth is simple: the more funds you donate, the more we can build, and the more elephants can be rescued. 


Thank you!!

Any donations that surpass the goal will be directed toward the purchase of steel for the next expansion. 


Aerial view of African elephant sanctuary expansion funding

64.6% raised. Updated March 13, 2023 

Be part of building their home


There are vast social, behavioral, and communication differences between these species. There is no overlap in nature between the physical ranges of African and Asian elephants, so they do not live together in the wild. For their recovery and comfort, and to allow them to live as close to a natural herd dynamic as possible, the two groups will be managed separately.

The biggest issue with keeping African and Asian elephants together is that essentially they speak a different language. Behavior that is playing for an African elephant is aggression to an Asian elephant. This is generally the root of most problems that we have seen in captivity, between the two species. Even when an African elephant tries to be social with Asian elephants, it can be 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. African elephants move quickly, be very reactive, put on displays, and behave in a way that is generally unsettling to Asian elephants. 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.

The African elephant habitat is up the hill from the female Asian habitat. There is one fence line (which has a road between it) where, if both species were at the right place and time, they might be able to see each other. But the area that the Asian elephants would need to be is not a space they have access to yet (it is part of the next expansion) and is at the top of a fairly steep incline. So we don’t believe it is somewhere they will be spending time. 

This expansion will allow us to be able to rescue six compatible female African elephants comfortably. As we mentioned, they interact with their environment differently than Asian elephants, so it is best to house fewer African elephants than you would Asian elephants, in the same amount of space.

As always, that depends on the elephants and bureaucracy. Most of the permits required to move elephants are only valid for six months, so timing is everything. Kenya is mostly trained for quarantine testing, and Kuky and Pupy have learned their needed behaviors. Those two have also been exposed to the transport container, which they saw and touched while Mara was being conditioned before her relocation. Soon, it will be safe to start their permit process, and then it’s a matter of when they are approved and how crate training goes.

We are hoping to have the expansion finished before all three African elephants arrive at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil.  Once funds are raised, this expansion will begin immediately after the male Asian habitat is completed. Construction will take approximately 3-6 months, depending upon weather and fire risk. 

Unfortunately, yes. Any of the elephants that come to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil from outside of Brazil will have to undergo the same quarantine process. It is done for general disease control and to ensure the health and safety of the elephants already at sanctuary. This is a government requirement with set procedures that cannot be avoided. 

Both Asian male and female habitats are down the hill from the African habitat, although the female habitat is closer. In this photo, you can see the location of all three areas. The Female Asian Elephant Habitat will continue to expand to the East, and the Male Asian Elephant Habitat will continue to expand to the West and North.

If we haven’t answered your question above, please feel free to reach out to us at


Kat and Scott - Ramba rescue 0ct 2019

Sanctuary isn’t just a place it’s a new beginning, peace of mind, and their home. Thank you for building and providing this life for them.

Scott and Kat Blais
Co-founders GSE


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