Elephant sanctuary in Brazil reviews toxic plant risks


The Global Sanctuary for Elephants is developing a new refuge for elephants in Brazil, involving everything from installing steel pipe fences to assessing whether the local flora pose any health risks to elephants.

GSE reports that five countries in South America have banned elephant performances in circuses and shows.  This has resulted in elephants literally being sent to pasture, sometimes with inadequate care.  The goal of GSE is to complete a 2,800 acre natural refuge for a small herd of elephants.  Elephant Sanctuary Brazil is said to be the first and only elephant sanctuary in South America.

On their blog, GSE recently reported on an interesting consideration, which is that toxic plants could pose a risk to elephants who grew up without being exposed to that vegetation.  But GSE looked into it and found that elephants seem to have an instinctive understanding of which plants are dangerous even though their mothers never taught them to avoid them.  Check out what they learned from an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee:


The sanctuary will offer the opportunity to researchers to learn more about this behavior.

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