PAWS Seeks New Elephant Keeper


After days spent dealing with the surprise of the Toronto Zoo elephants’ pending arrival, and the misinformation about PAWS and ARK 2000 we’ve been reading in news reports and on social media sites ever since, Ed and I were excited to watch good friend, and PAWS supporter, Tony LaRussa win the World Series.

When Tony announced his retirement yesterday morning, we sent him a text message offering him a job as an elephant keeper. It’s sort of an inside joke — Tony has helped us lobby for elephants and he has visited our elephants on many occasions. Tony loves elephants! Actually, he has all the right qualifications for a good elephant person: he’s focused; attentive; very intelligent; and thoughtful. Those are key components for understanding these huge individuals who are all different, like baseball stars.

Tony texted back saying he wanted to apply and would interview. It was great fun and a relief from the tension generated by the recent news. We will be seeking more qualified personnel, but Tony is WAY out of our league.

When Tony told the story on the Late Show With David Letterman last night, we were very grateful for the plug. Three more elephants will be very expensive and Tony knows that, having helped us many times in the past.

Thank you, and congratulations Tony LaRussa!

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5 thoughts on “PAWS Seeks New Elephant Keeper

  1. Hi Pat! How does someone become an elephant keeper at PAWS or any other sanctuary? I’ve volunteered with them at a sanctuary in Africa but can’t find anywhere in the USA. I don’t want to work at a zoo. Any advice how to get experience in the US?
    Thanks,
    Cheryl

  2. Hi Pat. Question for you in regards to elephants. With all of the squabbling (sp) going on between The Elephant Sanctuary and Carol Buckley in reference to letting Carol see Tarra, it made me think of this one question. What is your opion of letting elephants see their former keepers as I see you guys (PAWS) allow this but yet The Elephant Sanctuary doesn’t. From what I’m gathering, you (PAWS) don’t think it’s traumatizing the elephant while The Elephant Santuary seems to think it does. I’m very confused on this subject.

    • It’s just a matter of individual policies and the circumstances. We have maintained good relations with former keepers of our elephants, but there has been no major controversy involved.
      We have supported TES from the beginning, but they and we maintain different policies, like most organizations.

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