Thousands of elephants live not in the wild but in captivity, enslaved by humans, used for elephant back safaris and as performers for human entertainment. They spend their lives shackled and chained.
Carol Buckley, a visionary and conservationist decided to dedicate her life to changing this centuries-old culture and practice of brutalising elephants and she is doing it one elephant at a time.
As a young college student, this extraordinary woman met Tarra, a young Burmese elephant imported to America as a pet for a local store. Carol became the elephant’s carer which triggered a lifelong commitment to improving conditions for elephants in captivity. Carol created a sanctuary for elephants, providing refuge for retiring elephants from zoos and circuses. This new home became internationally recognised as the foremost natural habitat refuge for endangered elephants. She didn’t stop there.
Aware of the issue with captive elephants in Asia, Carol went on to establish Elephant Aid International. And today is making a big difference. With EIA, Carol has spearheaded multiple projects working in the US and Asia and has gone on to influence countless sanctuaries, circuses and zoos to make positive changes to the policies and standards of care for captive elephants.
She has worked tirelessly for chain free captivity and has taught others to train elephants humanly and out of chains. Carol Buckley has recognised and implemented a new standard of care for captive elephants.
Nepal and Thailand are the first to shift to offering spacious chain-free corrals for all elephants – it’s working. First to experience the cultural shift.
She has dedicated her life to this and has written numerous children’s books, created an award-winning documentary and has gone on to receive the Care2 accolade naming her as one of nine women saving the planet alongside Jane Goodall and Dr Sylvia Earle. Carol was also honoured for her innovative work by the 2001 Genesis Awards and as a hero for the planet by Time Magazine.