Gandhi, 52, is the first resident of Elephant Haven, a unique refuge in Europe for animals of its kind.
For those who have only known captivity, this retirement home in Haute-Vienne, created by Tony Verhulst and Sofie Goetghebeur, a Belgian couple, gives a taste of paradise. It took five years of paperwork and titanic work for the ex-healers at the Antwerp zoo to see their first resident arrive. There are not too many two to take care of the elephant: a single animal requires a lot of attention and stimulation.
Money too: almost 100,000 euros per year in medical care and food. Tony and Sofie multiplied the appeals for donations, which ended up pouring in from all over the world. Their project unites. Companies got together and offered equipment, NGOs also provided support, the Brigitte Bardot Foundation to the tune of 370,000 euros. This new paradise could soon receive other pachyderms: like 23 European countries, France will ban the presence of wild animals in circuses.