Thanks to Mother Nature and You ❤️


It’s been a little over six weeks since a wildfire ravaged the property, leaving devastation in its wake. Shortly after, while still reeling from the shock, we launched an impromptu fundraiser to help us rebuild. Thanks to your generosity, we raised almost $40,000 in a week. The support we received was overwhelming, and we wanted to share a little about what has happened since and where your donations have gone.

Life has returned to normal in many ways. The rainy season is here in full-force, although not as wet as past years, which has made the land vibrant and lush. This photo of Bambi was taken across the creek in Yard 4, an area that burned in the fire. It’s hard to believe that this area looked barren a few short weeks ago. As you can see, it is covered in gorgeous, Bambi-approved grass.

While all the regrowth in the photo is all to rain, we’ve been doing our own work to rebuild as well.

The melted water tanks are all replaced, as well as hundreds of feet of water lines. The spring, located on a hill, is above the habitat and below the main office. The barn tanks are filled by gravity, but everything on the hill (the house, office, goats/chickens, wildlife center, etc.) is powered by a pump destroyed in the fire. We have replaced the pump, as well as the electrical wiring to the pump.

We recently received our first delivery of indigenous trees to replace those that died in the fire, and have an order of bamboo delivering soon. We are working to coordinate with local volunteers to help us plant them. They will be planted in areas cleared by the fires, and the bamboo will help feed the elephants for years to come.

The fencing in the Wildlife Center has been repaired and is currently housing a young deer, and of course, Alma. Most of the wood supports for the original fencing burned in the fires. The tremendous logs smoldered quietly for days, so the cables (used to hold cattle for the previous landowner) and posts were replaced with steel fencing rolls. Because of the location and a roof desperately in need of replacing, plans were already on the list to build a new wildlife area west of the office. The fire moved it higher on our list, so it is happening now. Additional rolls of steel fencing have now been purchased for the new wildlife rehabilitation areas. Our choice in material is resistant to termites and fire and should overall be much more durable than wood. A simple security camera will also be added to the Wildlife Center. It will allow us to monitor Alma’s behavior and seizure activity as well as observe any wildlife working toward release.

Wildlife that is brought to us arrives at different ages and stages of life. While some have been kept as ‘pets’ and our job is to break that bond, others arrived incredibly frightened. Fear of humans isn’t seen as ‘negative’ for wildlife, and hiding from humans serves them well once they are released, but can make it difficult to monitor behavior. A camera would allow us to monitor cases more efficiently than Kat hiding at a distance to observe.

There is still a seemingly never-ending list of things to do, but that is something we are used to at this point. We are pleased with the progress being made toward rebuilding what needs rebuilding and improving what we have an opportunity to improve. Thank you for continuing to help make the sanctuary a better place. ❤️

November 25, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Susan says

    Just amazing what you’ve accomplished in a few short weeks!

  2. REPLY
    Wim says

    So much has happened the last months. Amazing how you pick up the pieces and create an even better piece of heaven for the herd. After all there’s no place like home. Thank you for building this beautiful dream. ???

  3. REPLY
    Bridget says

    Wow you all have been busy! Thanks for the update and I’m thankful funds were able to be raised so quickly to help with recovery. Thank you for all you continue to do and the lives you protect.

  4. REPLY
    Beverly Ann Singler says

    I’ll come down and help plant bamboo!

  5. REPLY
    Barb says

    So many friends that have helped but of course it is easy to love ESB and do whatever possible to help life go on there. The girls are worth it all as well as all who care for them.

  6. REPLY
    Jean says

    Thank you and God bless you for the amazing work you do.???

  7. REPLY

    It’s a pleasure to hear how much was raised & how far it’s gone. Ms Bambtastic almost disappears in all the luscious green growth that has come from the ashes of the fire.I always wonder what is going on in the minds of The Golden Girls. Sanctuary must seem surreal to them. I think of Ms Brave Bambi, hating her life in possibly various circuses & having a curiosity; a NEED to escape & explore. Its in her blood. She’s hardwired to wanderlust. What was to the chagrin of her circus keepers is now, pure joy in Sanctuary. Welcome to your new, bigger & so much better life, BEAUTIFUL! Explore away!

  8. REPLY
    SHEILA says


  9. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    We as supporters are so happy tp know what you do with our donations. I wish I had as much money as that guy who owns Facebook, can’t think of his name at the moment. Oh yes, Mark Zuckerberg, he is supposed to be worth about 72 Billion Dollars. But we here do our best in our small way and you make the best use of what we donate. We love you as well as the elephants.
    Received in the mail today my copy of Global Rumblings Fall 2020. Thank you so much.

  10. REPLY
    Sallie says

    The earth replenished with bright green grasses, must be now, so uplighting to elephants and humans! This is home, this is the future, and the continuing wellbeing of these adorable, sweet elephants and their adoring care givers who so love them. Happy Thanksgiving to all animals big and small, and to all people who love and protect them. I am thankful and grateful for the kindness of GSE staff, Scott and Kat, for allowing our close observation and the timely reports of these wonderful girls and their progress . . . Life is on the upswing!

  11. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    It’s incredible what you have managed to achieve and rebuild since the fires. You work so very hard. It does not surprise me that you care so much for the wildlife and environment, too, and a wildlife rehab centre at the sanctuary puts the icing on the cake for me!!! Thank you and million times over. We hear of people coming into fortunes and squandering it on frivolities. That’s their prerogative, I guess. But just imagine the good you could do! Saving and improving lives, animal and human, would be top of my list and ESB…….. priority!

  12. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    I agree with you, Rosie, Every word.

  13. REPLY
    Eric Johnson says

    This is amazing thanks for sharing this blog I become fan of your blogs now. This blog is so interesting and informative.

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