To provide a safe permanent haven for all elephants requiring sanctuary. To ensure that the knowledge and understanding of these endangered species is improved and developed, through education, training and study.
Wild elephants and those in human care present special challenges; their size, intelligence, and social structure teach us that a better understanding of their needs is essential to offer them the protection they deserve.
First and foremost, we aim to provide a safe haven for elephants. Our second objective is to ensure that existing skills and knowledge within the professional elephant care community are used, developed, and passed on to future generations of elephant caregivers, thereby directly benefiting elephants.
Scott and Heidi Riddle established Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary in 1990, on 330 acres in Arkansas, in the south central United States.
The number of elephants has slowly grown to its present number of twelve (12) African and Asian elephants of both genders. The work of developing and building the facility continues, with an ongoing master plan in place.
The funding for all of this work has been raised through appeals, donations and grants; the sanctuary is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and receives no government financial assistance.
It is vital that the sanctuary participates fully with individuals and organizations caring for and managing elephants - nationally and internationally. The founders of Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary are held in high regard within the international elephant community. Their advice, help and knowledge are continually sought.
The sanctuary founders and members of the Board of Directors belong to various professional organizations such as the Elephant Managers Association (EMA). Heidi Riddle has served on the Board of Directors and as past President of the EMA, and is an invited member of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The sanctuary directors have committed their work to advancing our understanding of the biology of elephants, and regularly lecture and produce scientific papers about their work.