Delhi the elephant arrives at Europe’s first Elephant Sanctuary
A new life for Delhi the elephant in Europe's first elephant sanctuary, Elephant Haven in France.
Delhi and Gandhi can live as natural a life as possible in a 28-hectare area, with trees, bushes, grass, babbling streams and a lake to swim in.
Delhi the elephant was sent from Vietnam to the Ústí nad Labem Zoo in the Czech Republic when she was three years old. She's spent 36 years at the zoo but for the past four years, she has been all alone.
Elephants are highly social herd animals. So, when the zoo’s other female elephant died, they started looking for somewhere better for Delhi to live.
Thanks to your support she has new home. At Elephant Haven, Europe's first dedicated elephant sanctuary in south-west France, she’ll spend her time with the other female elephant Gandhi, who has also previously lived most of her life in a zoo.
The start of a beautiful friendship
On the evening of August 24, the truck carrying Delhi rolled into Elephant Haven.
You help fund the transport of Delhi from the Czech Republic to France including a vet to care for her, so she was comfortable during the nearly 30-hour drive from the zoo. Thank you.
After hesitating a bit, she made her way out of the shipping container. When she entered the elephant house, she was less cautious and ate all the elephant delicacies that awaited her there.
She had a long sleep to recover from her journey and the next day she had the opportunity to meet Gandhi for the first time.
So that both elephants could get to know each other in peace and quiet, they had a fence between them.
It was a very successful first meeting. Both elephants quickly began to communicate with each other, both by sound and by gently touching each other's trunks. Tony Verhulst and Sofie Goetghebeur, who founded Elephant Haven, have no doubt that it is the beginning of a fine friendship.
How you helped
You also helped finance the construction of Elephant Haven - a peaceful sanctuary for elephants previously kept in European zoos and circuses.
Here, the elephants can live as natural a life as possible in a 28-hectare area, with trees, bushes, grass, babbling streams and a lake to swim in.
Visitors are not allowed to have any direct contact with the elephants and can only see the elephants from a respectful distance, so that they are not disturbed in their new, peaceful home.
Wild animals like elephant belong in the wild. But for those that can’t be returned to their natural environment, you’re giving them lives worth living. Thank you.