Europe’s first elephant sanctuary is ready to host animals

Sofie Goetghebeur and Tony Verhulst outside the finished barn of Elephant Haven.
Sofie Goetghebeur and Tony Verhulst outside the finished barn of Elephant Haven.

Europe’s first “retirement home” for zoo and circus elephants is now ready – and waiting to welcome its first residents.

But finding elephants which owners are prepared to release is proving difficult. Belgian couple Sophie Goetghebeur and Tony Verhulst, the co-founders of Elephant Haven, at Bussière- Galant, Haute-Vienne, say the first barn and surrounding enclosure are finished and they have the green light for three elephants. Confinement meant it took longer than planned, as ...

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