October, 12th, 2016 Brazil opened Latin Americas first elephant sanctuary. A refugee for elephants captured illegally who were used for the circus. In the sanctuary these aging giants will have the ability to roam acres and acres of pasture and wooded tundra mimicking their natural wild habitat. The first elephants to be welcomed into their new home, away from gawking eyes and constant abuse are forty-year-old elephants named Guida and Maia. In this refugee they will receive veterinary care, with 2,800 acres to roam and free of visitors.
Scott Blais and his wife moved to Brazil two years ago to start their dream of rescuing abused circus elephants so that they may live out the rest of their life in peace away from the crowds, the bull hooks and the constant demand for tricks. It is estimated that there are more than 50 other Asian elephants across Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Venezuela awaiting to be rescued from their miserable life as a circus animal.
The life of a circus elephant is often depressing and abusive. They are usually taken away from their families at a young age and trained to perform tricks. Elephants trained to perform in the circus are beaten and abused with bull hooks. They suffer at the hands of little men and often chained or put in a small pen for hours until they are needed for show time. It is easy to overlook the happiness of performing elephants with the glittering lights and the hype from the crowd but they are certainly not happy.
It is becoming more common for people to be aware of the cruelty these elephants endure in circus captivity. More so that many countries are banning elephant captivity all together. Sadly, the united states haven’t caught up to the ban and freedom of elephants yet. Many still remain in captivity forced to preform several times a day. It is our mission to bring light to the situation and open the eyes of everyone so that these poor intelligent animals may live a happy and free life away from the bright lights, noise and crowds.