Help Us Move Mundi!
With your help, we can bring Mundi to her forever home. At the request of the government of Puerto Rico, Mundi, a 34-year-old female African elephant who has been living at the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayaguëz, will find a new home at Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA).
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló made this very progressive decision in late August after determining that ERNA would be the perfect retirement home for Mundi.
Located in Attapulgus, Georgia, ERNA spans 850 acres of gentle rolling hills, lush pastures, dense forests, spring-fed lakes, creeks and streams, with a climate that will allow elephants to remain outdoors 24/7 almost all the year. It is the perfect place for elephants to regain their “elephantness” and develop loving bonds with other elephants and caregivers.
Elephant Aid International (EAI) Founder and President Carol Buckley traveled to Puerto Rico for several days in late October to assess Mundi’s health and living conditions. Although many trees were down and blocking pathways throughout the zoo, Mundi and her facility survived the storm without incident. Mundi is in good physical condition as well as emotionally and psychologically healthy. EAI and representatives from Puerto Rico’s Department of Sports and Recreation are in the process of working out a timetable for the move.
This move will be complicated by the fact that Puerto Rico’s infrastructure is damaged. Although roads are open, securing the equipment to transport Mundi from the zoo to the airport will be challenging. Much has been damaged and destroyed in Puerto Rico and many have left the island to seek employment and shelter elsewhere, making locating the necessary equipment and expertise difficult.
Thanks to Ed Stewart of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, Mundi will travel in style to ERNA in a crate provided by PAWS. The loan is in memory of PAWS co-founder Pat Derby, who devoted her life to improving the welfare of captive wildlife.
EAI is very grateful to PAWS for this generous loan. But, as those of you who have followed any elephant move know, the crate is only one piece of what will be a complex and expensive operation. Costs for Mundi’s move are estimated at $300,000.
We've made a good start toward raising the funds needed for Mundi's move, but we still need your help. Every donation, large or small, brings us closer to the day Mundi will start her new life in Georgia. Please donate and become part of Mundi's Move.
Join the EAI Team of Fundraisers!
We’ve put together some fun ideas to inspire a little competition of our own. Here’s what we’ve got in store for Team EAI…
Fundraisers at the $1,000+ level: Receive an EAI/ERNA t-shirt – exclusive and stylish, not available anywhere else
Student Fundraisers (K-12/college or university) at the $5,000+ level: Carol Buckley will speak at your school, and offer a screening of the award-winning documentary film "Unchained" in your community*
Fundraisers at the $25,000+ level: Receive the opportunity for four people to get a personal tour of ERNA and lunch at Elephant Lake hosted by EAI Founder Carol Buckley. There won’t be any elephants yet, but you can be assured of a unique educational and truly rewarding experience.
*Date to be determined based on mutual convenience/availability
More About Mundi
Mundi is one of 63 African elephants brought to the United States by eccentric millionaire Arthur Jones in 1984. When the young elephants were orphaned in a mass culling organized by the Zimbabwe government, Jones orchestrated a rescue mission to bring the orphans to his JumboLair estate in Ocala, Florida.
In 1986, the rescued herd was disbanded. Still babies, the elephants were sold to zoos and circuses, and to private individuals as pets. Mundi and another elephant named Nosey were sold to and performed in the El Mundo circus in Puerto Rico together. Two years later, Nosey was sold to the Liebel Family Circus, while Mundi, who is blind in one eye, was donated to the zoo in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
Mundi has been on display at the zoo since 1988. For nearly 30 years, she has lived alone in an area of about 15,000 square feet, with access to an enclosed shelter. She has several loyal caregivers, one who has been with her for nearly 18 years. By all accounts, Mundi is the main attraction at the zoo.