Learn about elephants at upcoming Tryon event

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 10, 2022

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Since 1985, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has provided refuge for 28 elephants retired from zoos and circuses. Today there are nine residents in three natural habitats. Vicki Leeds, a volunteer at the Sanctuary, will tell their stories, Live@Lanier, Thursday, June 23, at 1 p.m.  Among the stories, you will hear an update on Billie the heartbreaker from Carol Bradley’s non-fiction book “Last Chain on Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top.” 


The sanctuary in Tennesee exists to provide captive elephants room to wander as nature intended, the companionship of a herd, and individualized care for life. Only staff and volunteers are allowed entrance and do not always see an elephant in the 3,060 acres. The refuge is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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Vicki will also tell of elephant family interactions, their grief and joys, and their humor and compassion in life spans of 50 to 60 years. Ask Vicki about elephant fingers, tusks, trunks, communications, and role as “keystone species,” the last of the Proboscidea order of mammals. Learn the challenges for the three surviving species in the wild: Asian elephant, African savanna elephant, and African forest elephant.


For more information before the program, visit www.elephants.com.


“As Nature Intended” is the latest in Felburn Nature and Wildlife series. You can browse the Felburn collection of books, artifacts, and photography before or after the program in the downstairs LeDuc Room. Lanier Library is located at 72 Chestnut St., in Tryon. 


Submitted by Vincent Verrecchio