Elephant Sanctuary Brazil is currently in the process of interviewing for new elephant caregivers. This way, when the African elephants arrive and we have an additional barn running, we will have plenty of staff on board to care for the girls (and eventual boy). There is still no date for the arrival of Kenya, Pupy, and Kuky, but it is important that we have people being trained to properly care for them before they arrive.
The candidates observe the care routine of the elephants at a distance, and we find it interesting to watch their responses to new people; some intangible things about how human beings act around them tend to be a good measurement of whether a person would be particularly appropriate for the job. Lady is an easy elephant to gauge new people’s potential. She seems to be more at ease these days, likely because she knows she will always be protected. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s totally comfortable around strangers, but she’s comfortable with the knowledge that new people will only watch her from afar, without directly interacting with her. For this reason, she doesn’t always have a knee-jerk reaction to individuals she doesn’t know. But her body language lets us see where on her scale of comfort they fall.
Elephants tend to be wise in judgments of character, (we watch our dogs’ reactions as well) so these moments – which are just one part of the extensive interview process – give us an idea of the readiness of a person to learn the nuances of elephant care.
Photo of Rana and Mara keeping an eye on things