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The National elephant center

 
 
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  #1
The National elephant center
Old 24-07-2008

This is a new elephant breeding centre based in Okeechobee, s.e Florida on 300 acres of land, with the full involvement of the AZA this is hoped to be the epicentre of elephant breeding in the USA, both Asian and African elephant will be kept here.
Have a look around this site.
The National Elephant Center
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  #2
Old 25-07-2008

I think this is a great idea, specially becuase they will let the elephats breed unlike elephant sanctuaries. Will it be opened to the public?
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  #3
Old 25-07-2008

no it will not
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  #4
Old 25-07-2008

Is there are a good reason to build this give america already has "The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee".

Surely the money could have been better spent at this 1 facility? Adding to there services to elephants.

I have a hunch there would be allot of politics involved!!!

Interesting that it seems to reads that The National Elephant Center is funded by American zoos. Are they all individually subsadising this place?
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  #5
Old 25-07-2008

The National Elephant Center will be a breeding facility for elephants...something "The" Elephant Sanctuary and PAWS will not do. No amount of money could persuade those two facilites to change their mission and philosophy - though not saying what they believe is wrong. A group of Americans zoos (that cant quite afford their own conservation center) will provide funding for this new facility and disney will provide management and staffing. Originally the elephant center was to be on the Riddle's property...however after news leaked to the media, Scott and Heidi backed out of the deal. Then it was to be at the Audubon Institute's ACRES facility in New Orleans...obviously AZA elephant people changed their mind (though Florida gets more hurricanes than Louisiana). Now its in Florida.

I will be interested in which elephants will be placed there...I assume that some of the Riddle's elephants may be sent here. There are a lot of scattered young female elephants through out the country that could make their way here too. Also the Elephant Sanctuary isnt the only non-public elephant center in the US and most of them breed elephants:

Ringling Bros's Center for Elephant Conservation...Polk City, FL
Two Tails Ranch...Williston, FL
International Conservation Center...Somerset County, PA
Elephant Sanctuary (non-breeding)...Hohenwald, TN
Riddle's Elephant Sanctuary...Greenbrier, AR
Carson and Barnes Circus Endangered Ark Foundation...Hugo, OK
PAWS (non-breeding)...San Andreas, CA
Have Trunk Will Travel...Perris, CA
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  #6
Old 25-07-2008

Wow never would have thought there were that many!
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  #7
Old 26-07-2008

The facilities listed above serve VERY different purposes and have not more in common then that they all house elephants.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tenn. and PAWS in California are strictly committed to elephant welfare, don`t use bullhooks or chains and give the eles HUGE amounts of space with live vegetation to browse on. They don`t want to breed elephants, but most of their animals are too old or sick for breeding anyway.

Ringling`s so-called Center For Elephant Conservation and Carson & Barnes "Endangered Ark Foundation" (sorry but this name makes me SICK!!) are serving as winter quarter for the circusses, retirement housing for old animals and to breed elephants to use them in the circus business (which means most calves are prematurly weaned and trained by the age of 2 and then put on the road without their mothers). Can`t see what this has to do with elephant conservation, for me it`s animal cruelty, but that may be just me.

Have Trunk Will Travel is not that much different from Ringling`s elephant center, it`s the home base of a company/family which earn money with performing elephants and they are breeding their females there.

The "International Center for elephant conservation" in Summerset is not yet open and will be pretty much the same like that AZA project in Florida, founded by zoos (mainly Pittsburgh) and it will be used for breeding and to house surplus male elephants, probably Africans.
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  #8
Old 26-07-2008

Thank-you for the insight Yassa.
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  #9
Old 19-04-2009

Some news on the development of the National Elephant Center.

National Elephant Center in St. Lucie County could get animals by end of year : St. Lucie County : TCPalm
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  #10
Old 19-04-2009

read all about this on net, shame it won't be opened to the public though would of been a great place of education. Though I guess perhaps public viewing could cause stress to the animals.

Nevertheless an excellent place, I just hope I will be able to view a stack of photos. In which hopefully staff will be willingly submit to the public eyes.
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  #11
Old 20-04-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon(ele)nerd View Post
read all about this on net, shame it won't be opened to the public though would of been a great place of education. Though I guess perhaps public viewing could cause stress to the animals.

Nevertheless an excellent place, I just hope I will be able to view a stack of photos. In which hopefully staff will be willingly submit to the public eyes.
Its more about the costs and space associated with opening the facility to the public
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  #12
Old 20-04-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by okapikpr View Post
Its more about the costs and space associated with opening the facility to the public
Makes sense, everyone loves elephants!
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  #13
Old 27-01-2010

Elephants will be arriving this year, and initially the 300-acre center will be able to accommodate up to 9 African and 9 Asian elephants:

National Elephant Center is committed to the future and well being of elephants

Site plans:

National Elephant Center site location is located in Okeechobee, Florida

An intriguing excerpt from the website:

"The Center’s primary component is the 50-acre Central Elephant Meander. This expansive area includes a series of complex landscapes with the goal of providing a rich habitat that gives elephants access to everything they like to do throughout their day. Linked by a series of paths and trails, the area introduces landform and habitat elements from the savannahs and woodlands of their home ranges including large waterholes, sand dunes, plants and scattered browse.

The Central Meander will also serve as an innovative space used to develop new habitat features for zoos across the country. From testing new foraging systems to exploring pool heights, we will develop new enrichment and landscape features that can be recreated in zoos nationwide. We’re excited to implement new ideas and share them with our colleagues across the country."
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  #14
Old 27-01-2010

I have checked out the web site with great interest. But would anyone like to explain to me the use of the word "meander" in this context? Will there, in fact, be a meandering artificially made river (or possibly dried-out river) in each of the two enclosures? Is that why the word is used or does it refer to something else?

Will that 50 acre enclosure really be one single enclosure or will it be divided into several?

Also, I guess I have one problem with this elephant center - the thought of calves growing up there, later to be sent to some zoo with much, much less space and natural enrichment to offer them.
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  #15
Old 27-01-2010

The context of the word "meander" is their version of "habitat" or "enclosure". The large enclosures will give the elephants different terrain and natural objects to manipulate throughout the day. The last versions I saw the staff were going to have the flexibility to make the enclosures as large or as small as needed at that time. By this I mean that, on any given day there may be a reason to separate out some individuals from one another. This could be for breeding, birthing, illness, etc. If the previous post is correct and the facility will hold 9 Africans and 9 Asians, it is highly unlikely that their will only be two groups at all times. Captive elephant husbandry just doesn't work that way.

The goal of the Center is not only breeding. It will be used for elephant keeper training school, bull holding, holding for other elephants in which their zoos are eliminating their elephant programs, and research.

In a way, it is unfortunate that the facility will not be open to the public, but it will actually be better for the elephants. Having worked zoos, many times money goes to upgrade the visitor experience instead of the exhibits. Also, without guests there is no time table for the animals to be "on exhibit" for guest viewing. This can be limiting for keepers who may only have short periods of time in the beginning of the day or at the end that they can do their hands on husbandry with the elephants.
 


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