All Bull Elephants’ Sanctuary




The Kerulos Center’s All Bull Elephants’ Sanctuary (ABES) is prompted by the critical need for refuge and recovery of hundreds of Elephants suffering in North American zoos and circuses.

While we welcome females, our focus is male Elephants (Bulls) because they are underserved as a result of misperceptions and prejudice. View Table of Elephants.


ABES openly invites the Swaziland Elephants who were abducted from their African homeland and shipped to three U.S. zoos last year, and Billy, a 32 year old male Elephant held in solitude at the Los Angeles Zoo since infancy. We offer a transition home for the Swaziland Elephants in the hope that they can be repatriated to their families in Africa. If not, then we offer them, Billy, and all other Elephants who come to Sanctuary, a permanent home so that they may live in dignity as part of the global movement for Elephant self-determination.


We will not consider these cases closed until all Elephants and other incarcerated Animals are free.


ABES: A New Vision for Sanctuary

  • Elephant informed – As the “Elephants’” in our name reflects, ABES design, function, and human conduct are shaped by Elephant values, ethics, and needs.
  • Trauma informed – ABES’ is grounded in the scientific principles of trans-species psychology and trauma recovery.
  • Trans-species –We are a cross-species alliance working together to achieve the common goal of creating a world where all animals live in freedom and dignity.
  • Boundless – The physical space of ABES is finite, but as our diverse collaborations for Elephant Liberation illustrate, our engagement and vision are global.
  • Dynamic – ABES is not static but serves to promote the evolution of human culture to achieve animal self-determination and  trans-species well-being.


Meet the ABES Team



Photo credit Rebecca Winkler

The entrance to sanctuary lies inside.  – Rumi


Why the emphasis on Male Elephants?

Male Elephants (bulls) are misunderstood and abused. Because their hormonal period (musth) is accompanied by a natural, increased assertiveness, bulls are usually chained, isolated, or punished. As a result, they are incorrectly deemed solitary animals who, unlike their wild brothers, are forced to live without companionship. ABES residents will live chain-free, even during musth. They will have a lifetime home and the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with other bulls and carers.


Sanctuary vs. Zoo

Control Self-Determination
Trauma Recovery  
Isolation Companionship
Artificial conditions Natural Setting
Exploitive Service  

Science’s recognition of human-animal psychological comparability, vulnerability to trauma and stress, the traumatogenic nature of captivity, and trauma transmission across generations clearly shows that Elephant capture, captivity, and captive-breeding are not only profoundly unethical, but untenable for any purported goal of species conservation. Yet zoos and other captive industries continue to maintain that the psychological and physical needs of Elephants are being met under their deficient standards of care.


The physical and psychological trauma that captive-held Elephants endure and the loss of family and homeland cannot be reversed. Although it is still captivity, sanctuary differs vastly from zoos in terms of philosophy, care, and environment (see chart). As such, Sanctuary can make huge strides in helping heal, mitigating the effects of captivity, and transforming captive life from oppression to self-empowerment and renewal. This is a central goal of ABES.


Where We Are

Photo credit: Cari Zuckerman

Our three main tasks are to:

  1. Identify specific land for sanctuary;
  2. Work with a team of environmental designers, architects, and structural engineers to design ABES;
  3. Raise funds


How You Can Be Part of ABES

  • Sign the petition to free Billy
  • Donate to Kerulos so we can create the All Bull Elephants’ Sanctuary and rescue the Elephants in need as soon as possible
  • We welcome any volunteer work