This is Asha’s story…

Asha is a 37-year-old African female elephant who was born in Zimbabwe somewhere between 1982-83. Asha lost her entire family in a horrific slaughter orchestrated by the government of Zimbabwe in 1984. She was sent to the USA by the Shultze Company to later be exploited by the Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia at only two years old. Asha was a frightened baby destined for a life of human torture. And torure it has been. The Natural Bridge Zoo has over 100 Violations of the Animal Welfare Act, has had it’s permit suspended twice. Yet both state and federal agencies continue to renew the zoo’s exhibitor permit year after year.

Asha spends most of her life in an uheated barn on a concrete floor and giving backbreakiong rides to thousands and thousands of visitors every moment that the zoo is open.  It’s time she be sent to a sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, GFAS.  GFAS is the gold standard for sanctuaries. It’s way past time for Asha to live her life free to be the elephant she never had the chance to be.

FACE is committed to working to expose the decades of public complaints to the agencies tasked wih protecting Asha that have fallen on deaf ears. It is time to bring this issue to the public’s attention.  FACE recently was successful in raising funds to erect a highly visable bilboard near Richmond, Virginia so that over 300,000 people per week could see our message about the Natural Bridge Zoo’s over 100 violations of the AWA.  Our gaal is to make the State of Virginia seize Asha and place her in a GFAS sanctuary.  The billboard was up for an entire month and gained much attention.  

FACE has been working in Virginia with other animal wefare organizations on critical actions to benefit Asha. The Humane Society of the United States, HSUS and FACE also have been in colaboration on vital actions for Asha.  The wheels are in motion and progress is being made.  

UPDATE! Virginia SB1030 passes both House and Senate WITHOUT the inclusion of Elephants.  We are very dissapointed but are not giving up on actions going forward to get elephants added into new legislation. Stand by for more information and actions while FACE works on SB1030.  

Virginia Bill SB1030 – Needs your SUPPORT!

The battle to free Asha ALSO depends on your voice. Please stand by to use your voices to help.
If you are a resident of Virginia, your input will be CRUCIAL!
You will be asked again to contact and urge your legislators in SUPPORT of Bill SB1030. They need to hear from their constituents! (circus and roadside zoo supporters are calling to oppose this bill, your voice is needed to SUPPORT!)
👉🏼 SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: Dangerous captive animal exhibits; penalty. Prohibits a keeper of dangerous captive animals, defined in the bill, from providing or offering to provide to any individual, for free or for a cost, direct contact with such dangerous captive animal. The bill provides that a violation is a Class 3 misdemeanor and that the keeper is subject to a fine of not more than $500.

Who’s My Legislator?   
Please click on the following link to prepare for future actions for ASHA to find email addresses and phone numbers for your legislator.

The Virginia Attorney General’s Office recently seized over 100 animals from Wilson’s Road Side Zoo.

The authorities are waking up and we need to get The Natural Bridge Zoo on their radar.

Read one of MANY USDA inspection reports here.

USDA Natural Bridge Zoo Report

With respect to providing adequate care and according to the USDA, Natural Bridge Zoo:

  • Failed to adequately clean and sanitize animal enclosures or to control infestations of insect and mammalian pests.
  • Failed to provide adequate space for certain animals to move and make normal postural adjustments, leading to high rates of illness, injury, and death.
  • Failed to ensure that animals are sheltered in a manner that protects them from the elements.
  • Failed to separate animals who are incompatible with each other, putting these animals at risk of severe physical injuries.
  • Failed to prepare animal feed in a sanitary manner and fails to provide infant animals with necessary sustenance.
  • Failed to provide certain animals with adequate access to potable water for certain animals, causing extreme thirst.

There are few details that exist, but we do know that Ahsa has been a solitary elephant for over a decade. She has been forced to give backbreaking rides for nearly two decades to over 10,000 people every season. She has a concrete barn floor that is not heated in the winter. She has no pool and is chained frequently in an exhibit with little freedom to roam.

It is time she be sent to a GFAS sanctuary where can learn to be the elephant she’s never had the chance to be in all of her 30+ years in the United States.