Fifty-year-old Asian elephant, Ramba — “elephant in Chilean” — is finally free! After surviving 40 years in a circus and seven in a roadside zoo, she has arrived at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil in Chapada dos Guimarães, where she will spend the rest of her life in peace and tranquility.

After learning of her story, Chilean animal welfare organization Ecopolis reached out to Global Sanctuary for Elephants for assistance with obtaining her release. Ramba finally gained her freedom from her life of torment and agony, but as no sanctuary of this kind existed in South America at the time, she ended up waiting confined in a roadside zoo.

This is sadly a common situation. After animals are released from exploitative and abusive situations like circuses, there is often no place for them to go. Even if there are homes waiting, often they do not have the resources, space, or trained professionals to give the rescued animal a truly healthy and happy life. In certain instances, the new homes do not provide any respite as other forms of abuse and cruel practices await the animals there.

Thankfully, Global Sanctuary for Elephants stepped in again and, in partnership with Dr. Joyce Poole of ElephantVoices, created Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. Scott Blais, the CEO of Global Sanctuary for Elephants, hopes that the sanctuary will provide comfort for Ramba and be a place where she can feel peace and happiness.

Blais says, “We know that sanctuary life can make a profound difference to the health and well-being of captive elephants. Our objective is to develop an international collaboration to ensure a safe, secure and humane future for captive elephants through the creation of spacious, holistic, natural habitat elephant sanctuaries.”

Ramba will have two other elephant companions and 2,800 acres of land to explore. Although her journey has been long and arduous, we truly hope that as Ramba settles in, it becomes a happy and safe place for her to live out the rest of her days feeling security and love.