Lumbering through the Ozark Mountains are Willie, Toby, Tonga, and baby Batir, several African and Asian elephants found at Riddle’s Elephant & Wildlife Sanctuary, located on 330 acres near Greenbrier, Arkansas. This nonprofit organization was established by Scott and Heidi Riddle in 1990 and is dedicated to the preservation of elephants. It is currently the only facility offering a permanent home to any elephant in need, regardless of species, gender, age or disposition. For example, Willie came to the sanctuary from a small zoo, Tuffy from a circus, and Solomon from Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe after his family’s herd was culled. Caring for wild and trained elephants presents special challenges: their size, intelligence, and social structure teaches the sanctuary to in turn better educate the public as well as the professional elephant care community. You can visit the elephants on the first Saturday of every month between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. There is a $5 admission donation per person, children under two are free. Those 18 and older can attend a weekend workshop and learn first hand what it takes to care for the elephants. The workshop fee of $550 includes lodging and meals.
P.O. Box 715, Greenbrier, AR 72058
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