Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Orphanage
“We believe the timing is now right for us to take the next step in the evolution of our project and this will be the creation of a new Elephant Experience and the phasing out of elephant back safaris that have historically funded the Sanctuary”
In 1992, four elephants fondly known as “Jock”, “Jack”, “Jumbo “and “Miz Ellie” were in desperate need of a new home. They were orphans from a culling operation in Hwange National Park in 1980 and had outgrown their temporary home on a small farm in Zimbabwe.
With an uncontested, unwavering conservation ethic, Wild Horizons was identified as an ideal candidate to create a facility that would enhance the lives of the founding four elephants and provide a space for other elephants in need of care. The Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Orphanage was established, and has been a safe haven to a mirage of orphaned and injured elephants since its conception.
We strongly believe that ultimately the best environment for all elephant is in the wild and we strive to ensure that as many animals as possible return to a wild environment. That said, habituation forms a meaningful obstacle to many successful releases, with few wild areas being available where elephants cannot seek out human contact.
At Wild Horizons the elephant’s welfare and well-being has always taken precedence and the elephant keepers have been equipped with expansive training and knowledge to ensure dignified treatment of the animals at all time.
Elephant-back safaris have played an important role in generating the necessary funds required to provide orphaned elephants with a sanctuary and Wild Horizons has invested extensively in the sanctuary in order to ensure that the best quality of life was offered to their elephants, and in the process aided the conservation efforts of the country and contributed to worldwide expertise on the most effective ways of caring for orphaned elephants.
We understand that not every wildlife establishment operates to the same standard and ethics and therefore we can sympathize with the current negative sentiment surrounding elephant back safaris. We stand behind any movement that carries the world towards a greater respect for the animal kingdom.
With this mind we intend to phase out the Elephant Back Safaris, however, we will continue to operate the elephant sanctuary and orphanage by offering a new interactive experience. Our elephants live in a sanctuary, not captivity, however, they need us and our facility, and thus we have to seek alternative ways of funding the sanctuary in order to allow them to continue to enjoy the quality of life we have been fortunate to be able offer them. We have worked hard to raise public awareness and educate future generations about the importance of conservation. We play a major role in a very important process, and taking care of our elephants is a responsibility that we do not take lightly. We have physically and metaphorically journeyed with these elephants and gained a unique insight along the way.
We are committed to our elephants, and will take all steps necessary to replicate the life that they would have in the wild. We will continue to take in orphans, for as long as is financially possible, with the ultimate goal of eventually returning them to the wild where possible.