Myakka Elephant Ranch Closes to Public But Excitedly Undergoes Renovations

The Giving Coast

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY WEDNESDAY PHILANTHROPY EDITION WEDNESDAY MAR 3, 2021

The Myakka Elephant Ranch between Lakewood Ranch and Myakka City has temporarily closed to the public, as of March 1. Going on hiatus until November (tentatively), the global elephant conservation center will undergo essential renovation projects, but if the project culminates sooner, it will reopen to visitors before November the team shares.

Thanks to a generous donation, the ranch will be receiving much-needed construction to continue providing great care and of its elephant residents. "We are expanding the elephants' habitat, putting a new roof on the conservation center, as well as a pool for them and more," the team recently shared. "So during this time, we are working with educators in our community to create curriculums and lesson plans appropriate for grades K-12. Our hope is to expand our educational programs into schools." These lesson plans will also be available for educators teaching remotely and for parents teaching at home to download and utilize. "We believe that educating future generations is of paramount importance to the stability and growth of all elephant species."

Myakka Elephant Ranch reopened to the public in October 2020 while implementing Covid precautions. 10% of its elephant experiences, including the Rise & Shine Encounter and Bath Spa Encounter, paid by visitors then donated to community partners. "At our core, community involvement and education is a major focus for our team."  That education, combined with personal experience, they say, is the key to finding and creating a lasting effort to preserve these threatened species. The nonprofit offers veterans elephant therapy through Operation Warrior Resolution, and also partners with Loveland Center, The Haven, Manatee Children Services and more. 

Mailing address for donations: Myakka Elephant Ranch Inc. 1767 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. #270 Bradenton, 941-702-0220. 

Photo courtesy of Myakka Elephant Ranch

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