Wish list

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After making a “wish list” what elephants need and like, we started looking for land in Belgium, but very soon we realized that there was not lot’s of land anymore available or it is way too expensive.

So we started looking for other destinations to create Elephant Haven and each time France came up in our search. But France is big, so we had to think good. What’s important  for the elephants (water , trees  for shade, hay ,edible trees …)  So no Pyrenees, no Normandy, no Vosges , no Alps …The  more south : more dry , less water ,more pine trees  ,so not the Cote d’Azur….

We need a rural region!

Reguraly we went  to France to see land but everytime there was something not right, it just did not tick all the boxes for the ellies …untill we saw the land in Correze , France


It was great ; 50hectares , hilly, 3 lakes … The agency (Vandeberghe immobilier )was very helpful . The maire was excited and the owner liked the project

Yes we found land, but meanwhile we had lots of research to do, meetings with organizations, presentations…

Ofcourse the owner wanted some security, but time went so fast

…and someone else had put an option on the land, what a disappointment.

We had to gather our courage together again… and start looking for other land

More interviews were coming, there was lots of interest for the project. We were meeting people who gave us great advice and other people who said it was a stupid idea and thought we were crazy…

Meanwhile Tony was working on his “ Certificate de Capacité”

We first started up a Non profit in Belgium (VZW Elephant Haven)

Tony is  President  , Sofie is treasurer  and Nick Mertens agreed to be our Secretary

Here you read more about Nick : http://www.elephanthaven.com/en/elephant-haven/about-us

And 2 working members  Melina Sotiriou and Tina Plessers , who would keep on representing  Elephant Haven in Belgium in the future

We were so happy with the help we got, because most people supported us but didn’t believe in us ‘succeeding’  : So big of a project , just 2 zookeepers, lots of money , paperwork , will you be able to ‘get’ elephants,…

Without thinking too much about what still had to be accomplished  and about the financial we kept on going!

Elephant Haven

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