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Coordinates: 28°14′05″N 81°45′51″W / 28.2346°N 81.7642°W / 28.2346; -81.7642 The Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC) is a 200-acre animal sanctuary for elephants in Florida, opened in 1995 as a home for retired circus animals. The CEC is solely sponsored by Feld Entertainment, the holding company which owns Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.


Center's Role and Location

The CEC is the largest Asian Elephant gene pool outside of Southeast Asia. It is a central facility for researchers of elephant behavior and conservation. The center loans both elephants and semen to zoos and cooperative breeding programs around the world. Between the traveling circuses and the center, the herd consists of more than 70 elephants. When the center opened, it was home to 27 elephants, including four studs and six babies. As of 2005, there have been 18 births at the center and, as of December 2005, three mares are now pregnant. The center has a higher birth rate than any zoo in North America.

Retired circus elephants living at the center have an average lifespan of up to 70 years, longer even than captive elephants in zoos, which live an average of 55 years or even wild elephants who typically live up to 45 years.

Except for the paddocks and barns, the facility is a largely undisturbed natural habitat, home to hundreds of native species.

Health Record

In 1999 the centre failed a USDA inspection under the Animal Welfare Act due to its restraint policy.[1] At least one case of TB was noted at this time. An action over these issues was stated in a local court against the Center in June 2000.[2] The action was brought by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Protection Institute, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, and Tom Rider, a former employee of Ringling Bros.[3] The suit remained unfinished in November 2007 with both sides claiming an August 2007 ruling as a victory.[1][3]

In 2003 and 2004 the Center was given a clean bill of health by USDA inspectors [4][5]

In 2006 the Center was quarantined for a case of TB. Only one animal was affected out of the whole herd.[6]

Individual elephants

  • Asia is the star elephant of the Red Tour.
  • Mable (born April 6, 2006) is the most recent birth at the center (as of October 2006). Mable is a rare second generation offspring as both her mother, Shirley, and her father, Romeo, were also born at the Center in the mid 1990's. Mable's name was picked based on a national naming contest, and is named after Mable Ringling, the wife of one the founders of Ringling Brother's Circus.
  • Irvin (born June 2005), named after Irvin Feld who bought the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1967 and restored it to profitability, Irvin's parents are Alana and Charlie.
  • Aree (born Apr. 2005)
  • P.T. (born May 2002)
  • Asha (born Mar. 2002)
  • Rudy (born Jan. 2002)
  • Gunther (born Nov. 2001)
  • Sara (born Apr. 2001)


External links



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