EleFact Friday: What It Takes To Be a Caregiver

We often receive questions about our caregiving staff and what qualifications they have that have led them to careers with elephants. Or maybe you’re interested in working with elephants at some point in your life and aren’t sure where to start. For today’s EleFact, we’ll give you some insight into paths you can take that may help you get a bit closer to this special species. 

It’s important to remember that any career with any species will likely require quite a bit of physical work, and not always the pretty stuff. There’s a lot of cleaning, patience, and research that may be needed in whatever role you may find yourself in, which may surprise some people. Whether you’re scooping out barns or doing analytical research behind the scenes, every aspect of animal care is important. 

The easiest way to get into a job like those at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil is to start with an internship somewhere. Whether you have a background in biology, veterinary medicine, or just general caregiving, you have to start somewhere, and sometimes that means working for free to make connections and get experience. In the sanctuary setting especially, the concepts of understanding autonomy and emotional healing aren’t things that can be taught, but rather are reflected in individuals who have the heart for this kind of work. 

As far as Kat and Scott and their experiences, Scott has worked with elephants since he was fifteen years old and co-founded The Elephant Sanctuary (TES) in Tennessee when he was 21. Elephants are ingrained in every aspect of his life, as we’re sure many of you can tell by his expertise and love for his job. Kat has a veterinary background as a license technician and found herself looking for an internship with a species she hadn’t worked with before after returning to school, ending up at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Here, Kat and Scott met, and the rest is history. 

The best way to learn is to do: there are some things that can’t be learned until you are out in the field getting hands-on experience. Many organizations are looking for those who can not only add value to their team, but who have the heart and the care that comes naturally to some true animal lovers. 

To learn more about careers working with elephants, you can check out information on our website.

Photo of Mara


  1. REPLY
    Beji says

    I wish I was younger. Sort of. I grew up going to the circus and the zoo. Animals were treated so differently in the 60’s. I would definitely have gone to veterinarian school. I actually wish my vet was my primary care doc. My dogs vet is the bomb. A quick question…do the girls know the difference between all the people they interact with? I’m curious if they like or not like so much, the different people they encounter. And Mara is looking magnificent!!

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      yes, they definitely know the difference and have different relationships with the people who care for them. 😊

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.