World Elephant Day celebrated with Open House

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee invites the public to join in celebrating World Elephant Day with the grand opening of The Sanctuary’s Outdoor Classroom in Hohenwald from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Saturday, August 12, 2017.

Neighbors and friends of The Elephant Sanctuary are also invited to join staff for a sneak preview of The Outdoor Classroom Friday night, August 11 from 5-7 p.m.

This celebration will be an opportunity for friends and families to meet and interact with The Sanctuary’s elephant caregivers and help make special enrichment treats for the elephants while touring The Elephant Discovery Center’s new Outdoor Classroom. The elephants at The Sanctuary are retired from public exhibition, therefore there will be no elephants at this event.

Nashville-based artist, Alex Lockwood, has been commissioned to design a life-sized Asian elephant sculpture, to be revealed on World Elephant Day. The sculpture is being created out of community-sourced, recycled tires.

Lockwood, known for his abstract sculptures created from repurposed and recycled material, is the owner of Elephant Gallery and Studios in North Nashville and a presiding member of Nashville’s Coop Collective, a group of artists, curators, thinkers and professors who are committed to expanding Nashville’s dialogue with contemporary art. Alex has had recent exhibits at Oz Arts and Zeitgeist Gallery, and his work is featured at putting hole number two at the Nashville Sounds Stadium’s miniature golf course.

“The Sanctuary is committed to environmental conservation, both locally and globally, for the benefit of elephants and all living beings,” said Todd Montgomery, The Sanctuary’s Education Manager. “We hope that repurposing tires into this life-sized elephant will spark an interest among visitors to learn more about elephants and will connect them to The Sanctuary’s mission of local and global environmental sustainability and conservation.”

The Outdoor Classroom features self-guided exhibits on elephants as a keystone species in their native habitats, ongoing conservation efforts to protect them, and the features and behaviors unique to their species. In addition, the Outdoor Classroom features a 3,500-gallon rainwater irrigation cistern and the landscaping features plants that are local to middle Tennessee.

First recognized in 2012, World Elephant Day is a global effort to raise awareness about the issues facing elephants in the wild and in captivity.

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