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  • Where are you located?
    We are located in Myakka City, Florida 15 miles east of I-75 on CR 64. Our closest landmark for GPS reference is Hunsaders farm that’s approx 5 min away. The specific address is provided in the confirmation packet you will receive once the encounter is booked. This is done in effort to provide safety and security to our elephants as visitors are only permitted during appointments.
  • Why was Myakka Elephant Ranch Started?
    Our non profit was founded by Lou Barreda in October of 2019. He graduated from FGCU in 2018 with a marketing degree. After graduation he decided to go to South Africa to attend the 16th International Elephant Conservation and Research Symposium. This is an bi-annual event hosted by the International Elephant Foundation. Conservationists and researchers from around the world are invited to present their projects and research outcomes along with new technologies in the field of conservation and conflict mitigation. He learned so much and met with world leaders and top professionals in the field such as Deborah Olson who founded the International Elephant Foundation. He was so moved by what he learned there that he decided to found a non profit focused on global elephant conservation Right here in south west Florida. Then Myakka Elephant Ranch was born.
  • Where do the elephants come from?
    Myakka Elephant Ranch currently cares for two Mainland Asian elephant. Our two loving Asians were purchased in order to retired them from the entertainment industry. They are currently on 30 acres spotted with lovely trees offering plenty of shade! We are proud supporters the International Elephant Foundation and the Roy Hensman Conservation and Research Unit as part of our efforts to contribute to global elephant conservation. We ourselves as a conservation center believe that education combined with personal experience is the key to finding and creating lasting efforts to preserve these beloved threatened species. Through understanding, and the sharing of knowledge and information we believe that we can make a big differenc
  • Can I come and just watch?
    We do require each person inside the facility to book and purchase an encounter through our website. This process ensures that all participants have properly signed all waivers and forms. Through bookings and donations we are able to not only care for our herd here, but also provide free education programs through schools and offer community outreach programs. In addition we are partnered with the International Elephant Foundation, to whom we heavily donate and engage in conservation efforts around the globe.
  • How to visit?
    We are by by reservation only. All appointments are booked with the link below https://go.theflybook.com/book/867/ListView/0#/base/867/bfacaa1a-4d81-4989-9b89-908a752dcb33/listview
  • Can I book bus tours?
    Myakka Elephant Ranch is a 501(c)3 non profit conservation education center. There is no resale of any tickets purchased. Reservation must be under the card holders name. If a 3rd Party site completes a booking it will be refunded with the exception of $100.00 penalty fee.
  • Do you have volunteer opportunities?
    At this time the main volunteer roles we have are helping us spread the word about the need for elephant conservation. After that we are working on forming committees for the different fundraising projects we need to accomplish. We are also creating an education committee. Currently 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 teachers 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.
  • Why do you give the elephants a bath?
    Elephants are highly dependent on water, not only for drinking but also for their skin and general hygiene. All elephants in the United States are govened under USDA and bathing them dailly is actually a USDA requirement. Wild elephants will enjoy daily bath if it is at all possible. Elephants daily shower is for more then fun it’s fundamental for their skincare and helps in moisturizing their skin. Its not only physically important, it’s also important for their mental well being.
  • What can we do at Myakka Elephant Ranch?
    We only allow the public to help us with basic care taking at Myakka Elephant Ranch to further the education conservation process. Preparing the elephants meals, feeding and bathing are all part of their daily care. Bathing the elephants daily is a USDA Requirement. As a non profit conservation education center our elephants are ambassadors to those in the wild. They continue to help us educate people on the struggles elephants face. We ourselves as a conservation center believe that education combined with personal experience is the key to finding and creating lasting efforts to preserve these beloved threatened species. Through understanding, and the sharing of knowledge and information we believe that we can make a big difference.
  • Whats the difference between the Rise and Shine and Spa Enrichment experiences?
    The Rise and Shine is the most intimate hands on experience limited to 8-10 people. Where the spa enrichment is up to 25 and additional people join in for the educational experience. In the Rise and Shine you help prepare the elephant's meal, feed them, get one one one time, and aid in washing one Asian elephant in 1 hour. Where the Spa is going to be 2 hours total with much more observation time while 25 people helping wash the elephants. Then it includes the educational experience. The VIP is much more hands on the spa is longer observation time.
  • Elephant Habitat?
    Myakka Elephant Ranch currently has one of the largest elephant habitat in the United States today. We are always striving to continue to grow their area. Currently they are on 30 acres spotted with lovely trees offering plenty of shade. The 80,000 gallon watering hole is one of their favorite spots on hot days. Mudding areas, and sand domes are included in their area with enrichment toys. The large trees and logs provide great natural enrichment as well.
  • What if I can not make my reservation?
    Myakka Elephant Ranch is a non profit conservation education center. All of our experiences are non refundable. In order to move your reservation we require a least 72 hour notice in order to reschedule. Within 72 hours your payment will become a tax deductible donation and you will not be able to reschedule.
  • Are you open all year?
    Yes. However we are only booking 3-4 month in advance. Additional months are posted at the beginning of each month.
  • Why can't I book the Rise and Shine and Caretaker experiences?
    The rise and shine caretaker experience sells out several month in advance currently our first availability will not open till we release another month of booking.
  • What hotel should I book?
    The closest we recommend would be the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Bradenton- Lakewood Ranch FL 5610 Manor Hill Lane Bradenton Fl 34203 A little bit further but a great area to stay is the UTC (University Town Center Area) off exit 217 it is near plenty of restaurants and shopping.
  • Are you wheelchair accessible?
    We are handicapped accessible and have had many participants with walkers/ canes/ wheelchairs/ scooters & prosthetics. The conservation center is concrete and rubber floors. If needed you are able to drop off right at the entrance as well.
  • Phone hours?
    Thursday- Monday 9:00am-1:00pm closed on Tuesday, Wednesday & Holidays Text and What’s app also available
  • What should I wear?
    If you are coming to the VIP or Spa Encounter please wear closed toed shoes. HEAT ADVISORY PLEASE WEAR WEATHER APPROPRIATE CLOTHING AS WE ARE AN OPEN AIR FACILITY. WE RECOMMEND YOU BRING WATER AND STAY HYDRATED. WE ALSO HAVE DRINKS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
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