The debate about moving the sanctuary for Anne, the rescued circus elephant, is

Anne, an elderly elephant rescued from circus cruelty, is enjoying her twilight years at Longleat Safari Park.

Despite her arthritic legs, she finds comfort in daily routines such as warm showers, engaging games, and listening to classical music.

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Anne’s journey to Longleat began when the Daily Mail highlighted her abusive conditions under circus ownership, leading to a public outcry and her subsequent rescue.

At Longleat, she has thrived in a specially designed enclosure funded by donations, ensuring her comfort and well-being.

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She spends her days eating hay from winched nets, enjoying a spacious environment tailored to her needs.

Anne, the last circus elephant in Britain, suffered severe abuse in Northamptonshire before her rescue.

Hidden camera footage by Animal Defenders International (ADI) revealed her harrowing treatment, including being chained, beaten, and stabbed.

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The footage sparked protests and legal action against her former owner, Bobby Roberts, who received a conditional discharge for animal cruelty in 2012.

Recently, a petition with 403,000 signatures has called for Anne’s relocation to a sanctuary in France, suggesting she would benefit from warmer weather and the company of other elephants.

Prominent supporters, including actress Joanna Lumley and organizations like Action for Elephants and Four Paws, argue that Anne’s solitary life at Longleat is unsuitable for such a social species.

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However, supporters of Anne remaining at Longleat, including the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), emphasize the excellent care she receives and the potential health risks of moving her.

They assert that Anne is content in her current environment, pointing to her routine behaviors as evidence of her well-being.

Anne’s current home features a state-of-the-art enclosure with skylights, constant temperature heaters, and a private garden.

Despite her arthritis and scars from past abuse, she is well-cared for with amenities like sand mounds for resting and automated hay feeders that encourage natural foraging behaviors.

Her caregivers, who strongly bond with her, ensure she remains stimulated and comfortable.

Jon Merrington, head of Safari at Longleat, acknowledges Anne’s desire to live in a social environment but stresses the expert consensus on the risks of relocating her.

Given her age and health conditions, the potential dangers of transportation and integration with other elephants are significant concerns.

Anne’s story, beginning in Sri Lanka and culminating in her rescue and rehabilitation at Longleat, highlights the complex considerations in providing care for aging, abused animals.

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