The Louisville Zoo made a very bittersweet announcement recently. Mikki and Punch, their two remaining elephants will be retiring and relocating.

Louisville Zoo Elephants Retiring

I've loved visiting these two over the years. Mikki is 37 years old and Punch is considered geriatric at 53.  They are at a place where they need to move on to a place that can better suit their needs as they age.

Why Are Louisville Zoo Elephants Moving to a Sanctuary?

You may remember that in 2023, Mikki's calf, Fitz sadly passed away . After that happened, the Louisville Zoo says they fell below the standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for keeping and maintaining elephants there. As much as the zookeepers hate to see their beloved elephants move on, they shared in this video that they have always made the animals' health and well-being a priority and this is what will be best for them.

Where are Mikki & Punch Spending Their Golden Years?

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee will welcome the two aging elephants with open arms. They have been providing care for these majestic creatures since 1995. Right now, they have 12 elephants living on 3, 060 acres of diverse habitats. Providing individualized care, socialization, and enrichment, it is the largest natural habitat preserve in the United States for Asian and African elephants.

How Much Longer Will Mikki & Punch Be in Louisville?

If you want to say your goodbyes, you have plenty of time to go see them before they pack up and head South. They won't be moving until spring 2025. In this video announcement, they share, "We have reached the point where it is imperative that we secure an optimal location where Mikki and Punch may retire together, and guarantee companionship when one inevitably passes before the other."


Thank you for the smiles Mikki & Punch! Enjoy your retirement. They say any elephant never forgets, so I'm sure they'll always remember their old Kentucky home.

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